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F M 17-42 



United States Government Printing Office 
Washington : 1944 

Washington 25, D. C, 10 November 1944. 

FM 17-42, Armored Infantry Battalion, is pub- 
lished for the information and guidance of all con- 

[AG 300.7 (13 Oct 44).] 

By order of the Secretary of War: 


Chief of Staff. 

Official : 

J. A. ULIO, 

Major General, 

The Adjutant General. 

Distribution : 

Continental: As prescribed in par. 9a, FM 

21-6 except Armored School (600), D 17 

(10); Def C (2), Sec (2), Sub-sec (2); 

HD (2); R 17 (3); Bn 17 (5) incl Sep 

Bn; I Bn 7 (30). 
Oversea: T of Opns (2); SvC (2); Depts 

(2); Island C (2)^ Base C (2); Def C (2); 

Base Sec (2) ; HD (2) ; in addition to the 

foregoing the following distribution will be 

made to ETO & NATO only: D 17 (10) ; 

R 17 (3); Bn 17 (5) incl Sep Bn; I Bn 7 

(30). • 
I Bn 7 : T/O & E 7-25. 
For explanation of symbols see FM 21-6. 



Paragraphs Page 



TION, LIAISON 11-15 16 




Section I. General 29,30 62 

//. Approach march 31-40 66 

///. The attack 41-54 71 

IV. Battalion in reserve 55-56 79 




, Section I. General 78-80 105 

//. Reconnaissance platoon 81—85 106 

III. Assault gun platoon 86-88 113 

IV. 81-mm mortar platoon 89-91 114 

V. Machine gun platoon 92-113 115 


Section I. General 114-118 125 

//. Supply 119,120 128 

Personnel 121 130 

IV. Maintenance 122-126 131 






INDEX 165 




1. SCOPE. 

This manual covers the tactical employment of the 
armored" infantry battalion, both as part of a larger 
force, and when acting independendy. It is de- 
signed as a guide and does not prescribe a set of 
inflexible rules. Each tactical situation must be 
solved on its own merits and the initiative of indi- 
vidual commanders is encouraged. 


The armored infantry battalion has a headquarters 
and headquarters company, service company, and 
three rifle companies. (See fig. 1.) For details of 
organization, see T/O & E 7-25. 


a. The armored infantry battalion is a powerful, 
mobile, lightly armored unit that is tactically and 
administratively self-contained and capable, to a lim- 
ited extent, of independent action. 

b. The battalion is specially organized, equipped, 
and trained for employment in mutually supporting 
tank and infantry action. 

c. Armored infantry normally fights dismounted. 
Under favorable conditions vehicular armament 
either mounted or dismounted is used to support the. 
attack. If vehicles are used, they must be placed in 
position defilade and dispersed. It moves forward 

For military terms not defined in this manual, see TM 20—205. 


in vehicles until it is forced by enemy fire or unfavor- 
able terrain, to dismount. In mounted movement it 
is sensitive to mine fields, other obstacles, unfavorable 
terrain, and weather. Continued operation is de- 
pendent on maintenance and adequate resupply of 
ammunition, fuel, and lubricants. 

Bn Hq 



Bn Adm a 
Pers Sec 

Company Antitank 

Bn Sup S T 






— 1 — 


— I"" 

r I , 

Hq 8 Hq 





< Medicol ! 






! Oet ; 

t Moint 



1 — 


1 ..... 



Assault Gun 


Machine Gun 

Figure 1. The armored infantry battalion. 

4. ROLE. 

The primary role of armored infantry is combined 
action with tanks. In the execution of this role it 
operates within the framework of the massed and 
coordinated efforts of a combined force, an armored 
combat command, or similar larger force. In this 
combined action it may be called upon to — 

a. Follow a tank attack to wipe out remaining 
enemy resistance. 

b. Seize and hold terrain gained by tanks. 

c. Attack to seize terrain favorable for a tank 


d. Form, in conjunction with artillery and tank 
destroyers, a base of fire for a tank attack. 

e. Attack in conjunction with tanks. 

/. Clear lanes through mine fields alone or in con- 
junction with engineers. 

g. Protect tank units in bivouac, on the march, in 
assembly area, and at rallying points. 

h. Force a river crossing. 

i. Seize a bridgehead. 
Establish and reduce obstacles. 

k. Attack or defend towns. 
/. Organize and defend a position. 
m. Perform reconnaissance and counterreconnais- 


The battalion employs the principles of surprise, fire 
and maneuver, and concentration of effort. 

a. Surprise. Surprise is obtained by reconnais- 
sance, use of cover and concealment, use of unex- 
pected strength, rapidity of maneuver, attacking at 
an unexpected time and place and from an unex- 
pected direction, and by deceiving the enemy as to 
the true point of the attack. 

b. Fire and maneuver. Fire and maneuver is a 
fundamental of tactical employment. Part of the bat- 
talion supports by fire, while the remainder maneu- 
vers. This fundamental is applicable down to and 
including the rifle squad. 

c. Concentration of effort. Concentration of 
effort is made on critical areas. Dispersing the bat- 
talion by making simultaneous attacks on widely sep- 
arated objectives is avoided. 


a. General. The character of the area or region 
of military operations often has a decisive influence 


Figure 2. Surprise is gained by use of covered approaches. 


5000 YDS 

Figure 3. Do not disperse the battalion effort. 

Figure 4. Concentrate on one enemy position. Use smoke to 
hamper enemy •observation. 


upon the course of operations. The more important 
factors to be considered in evaluating terrain include 
not only natural features, such as ridges, streams, 
bodies of water, woods, and open spaces, but also 
such features as roads, railways, and towns. 

( 1 ) Ground forms such as a succession of ridges 
and valleys, influence military operations by aiding 
or hampering the movement of military forces. An 
advance parallel to the ridges and valleys is mechani- 
cally easier than movement across successive ridges. 

(2) The salient features of a commander's plan 
of action are usually determined so as to take full 
advantage of favorable terrain features. 

(3) In evaluating terrain in relation to its use 
for military purposes, the battalion commander 
should always make a detailed map study and there- 
after a personal reconnaisance of the area, if possible. 

(4) For a detailed discussion of terrain evaluation, 
see FM 5-15. 

b. Terrain factors. In making an estimate of 
the terrain, the following factors are considered : 

( 1 ) Observation. The occupation of high points 
permits observation of the ground on which an en- 
gagement is taking place and is essential in order 
to bring the maximum effective fire on the enemy. 
Cover and concealment is based on denial of obser- 
vation to the enemy. 

(2) Fields of fire. In studying the terrain, the 
battalion commander seeks terrain affording suitable 
fields of fire. Terrain features such as woods, 
streams, ridge lines, and mountains divide terrain 
.into separate areas. When terrain features inclosing 
an area prevent direct fire and observation into the 
position from outside, the area is called a compart- 
ment. A compartment of which the longer axis ex- 
tends in the direction of movement of a force is a 
corridor. A compartment of which the longer axis 


Figure 5. Corridors favor offensive action. 



extends across the direction of movement of a force 
is called a cross corridor. 

(a) A corridor favors the attack, since its natural 
boundaries limit observation by the enemy and elimi- 
nate direct fire against the advancing troops except 
from weapons within the corridor. In assigning a 
unit a corridor, care is taken to insure that terrain 
features from which direct fire can be brought to 
bear against troops within the corridor are included. 
Boundaries between units generally coincide with 
boundaries of corridors. In attacking a corridor the 
limiting terrain features which control observation 
into the corridor must be taken first, as the seizure 
of these dominating terrain features facilitates the 
capture of the entire corridor. When a corridor is 
seized, including the limiting terrain features on each 
side, a protected route of approach or route of com- 
munications into the enemy position is obtained. 

( b ) Cross corridors favor the defense, since the de- 
fender has observation in the direction of the attacker 
from the forward limiting feature of the cross cor- 
ridor. This same terrain feature limits the attacker's 
ground observation into the defense area. Cross cor- 
ridors permit defense in successive positions, offering 
cover to the defender and serving as obstacles to the 
attacker. Cross corridors also permit overlapping fires 
from adjacent units of the defense. 

(3) Cover and concealment. Cover and conceal- 
ment is sought in order to deny the enemy informa- 
tion of activities of the battalion and achieve the 
maximum in surprise. In making the terrain study, 
the type cover and concealment sought is as follows: 

(a) Approach march. In the approach march 
covered avenues of approach which will allow ve- 
hicles to move as far forward as possible are desirable. 


(b) The attack. Terrain which affords good con- 
cealment throughout the depth of the advance, and 
leads units into the enemy position, favors the attack. 

(c) The defense. A position offering concealment 
and cover within the area to be defended, with good 
observation and good fields of fire, is ideal for defen- 
sive action. 

(4) Obstacles. Obstacles are obstructions to 
movement. Terrain obstacles include streams, moun- 
tains, bodies of water, swamps, boulders, heavily 
wooded areas, deeply eroded areas, and steep inclines. 
Obstacles limit the use of vehicles and must be taken 
into consideration in formulating plans. Terrain ob- 
stacles usually favor the defender. However, they can 
be used at times by the attacker in the protection of 
flanks. The effectiveness of natural obstacles depends 
largely upon observation. Most obstacles are fully 
effective only if observed fire can be brought to bear 
upon them. 

(5) Routes of communication. Availability and 
condition of roads and trails often determine the 
scheme of maneuver. Control of primary routes into 
the area is important for the movement of supplies, 
weapons, and troops. It is desirable that each unit 
have a definite route to its area over which vehicles 
can operate. Covered routes are sought and vehicles 
are moved across country to avoid open roads which 
can be seen by the enemy.. 

c. Key terrain. After considering all factors of 
the terrain which affect the disposition of the troops, 
the battalion commander next considers the key 
terrain features, the control of which will dominate 
the area. 

( 1 ) In the attack, the battalion commander makes 
plans to seize ridge lines, hilltops, and all other ter- 
rain features which dominate the zone of attack of 
the battalion. The seizing of these dominating 


features facilitates the capture of the entire area. 
The attack is planned so that the troops advance 
objectively from one commanding terrain feature to 
another. Movement is along covered routes of ap- 
proach. (For details see ch. 6.) 

( 2 ) In the defense, the battalion commander seeks 
to dispose his troops so that key terrain features can 
be held, with the entire front being covered by fire. 
The main line of resistance is located so as to defend 
the most dominating terrain features within the sec- 
tor of defense. However, it is not always located 
along the dominant terrain features. 





a. References. The subject of training is cov- 
ered in detail in FM 21-5, FM 100-5, and TM 
21-250. Special instructions are published in 
periodic training directives. 

b. Concurrent training. Economy of time may 
be effected by planning certain training concurrently. 
Concurrent training, such as rifle marksmanship and 
training in the care, nomenclature, and functioning 
of the rifle, can be carried on concurrently without 
loss of training time. On road marches first-echelon 
maintenance is concurrent training for the drivers 
and assistant drivers. The aggressive officer discovers 
many ways in which concurrent training can be used 
to advantage both in accomplishing the training ob- 
jective and conserving time. 


a. Tactical training of the component elements of 
the battalion is covered in other manuals pertaining 
to those elements. The battalion as a unit is trained 
tactically in — 

( 1 ) Intelligence and reconnaissance. 

(2) Marches and movements. 

( 3 ) Security. 

(4) Offensive combat. 

(5) Defensive combat. 

(6) Retrograde movements. 


(7) Infantry-tank cooperation. 

(8) Special operations. 

b. The company should complete each phase of 
the training listed in (1) through (8) above before 
each phase is scheduled for battalion training. 


a. General. Situations involving the function- 
ing of the medical detachment, the maintenance pla- 
toon, and the supply and transportation platoon are 
included in the tactical training. For duties of the 
medical detachment, see chapter 11 and FM 17-80, 
and for duties of the maintenance platoon and the 
supply and transportation platoon, see chapter 10. 

b. Maintenance. Training in maintenance is 
stressed continuously. The battalion commander is 
responsible that the weapons and vehicles are kept in 
the best possible condition. He controls the mainte- 
nance training by a definite plan, which includes the 
following : 

( 1 ) A daily report from the battalion motor officer 
on the state of maintenance within the battalion. 

(2) Definite first-echelon instruction in all training 
exercises possible. 

(3) Vigorous action on the part of all officers and 
noncommissioned officers in continuous instruction. 

(4) Instant correction of faulty driving and 
maintenance drills. 

(5) Frequent inspections by the battalion and 
company commanders to determine the status of 

(6) Constant supervision of parks and spot check 
formations. (See ch. 10.) 

(7) Frequent rotation of drivers detailed for spe- 
cific jobs, with their vehicles, to insure that all drivers 

615398° — 44 2 


of personnel and cargo vehicles receive the maximum 
of training. 

(8) Constantly impressing upon all officers and 
enlisted men the vital importance of keeping vehicles 
and weapons in the best possible condition. 


a. General. Training of the battalion never 
ceases, but is continuous up until the unit is sent into 
action. Training in the combat zone consists pri- 
marily of review of previous training, detailed train- 
ing on weak points, and detailed rehearsals on im- 
pending operations. 

b. Terrain, climate. New terrain and a prob- 
able change in climate affects training in the combat 
zone. Special training to overcome these obstacles is 
as detailed as necessary. 

( 1 ) Terrain. In the combat zone, the methods 
and maneuvers of the battalion in training are adapted 
to the enemy and the terrain over which the unit is 
later to fight. 

(2) Climate. The climate in the combat zone 
may be a radical change from that experienced in 
the initial training. The troops must become accus- 
tomed to the new climatic conditions. This means 
intensive training, with probable changes in means 
and methods. The new climate may require changed 
equipment, special rations, and other factors peculiar 
to the combat area. 

c. Between phases. Between phases or pro- 
longed lulls in combat, front line units continue train- 
ing within the limits imposed by the situation. This 
training is conducted in accordance with the deficien- 
cies disclosed. Training of front line troops between 
phases in combat affords opportunity to correct errors 
disclosed in battle. Detailed rehearsals for planned 
operations should be held, when practicable. 


d. In reserve or in rest areas. Units which 
have been in combat and returned to reserve or to 
rest areas utilize spare time for further training. This 
gives opportunity to improve those points in which 
the battalion or units of the battalion were deficient, 
to try new methods and dispositions, and to correct 
faults which were apparent in combat. 





a. General. The properly coordinated and con- 
trolled efforts of all personnel and all weapons, both 
organic and supporting, are required to produce de- 
cisive results. Without this control, effort is dissi- 
pated on relatively unimportant missions. With it, 
effort is properly timed and concentrated on vital 
objectives, the attainment of which contribute to the 
success of the operation as a whole. The battalion 
commander considers the firepower of supporting as 
well as organic units in making. his plans. 

b. Means of obtaining. Control and coordina- 
tion are obtained by proper application of the follow- 
ing means : 

( 1 ) Orders. Clear, concise orders assigning defi- 
nite-missions prior to the engagement are given to all 
elements of the battalion. 

(2) Observation. In order to obtain the maxi- 
mum firepower of both organic and supporting weap- 
ons, it is essential that key terrain features affording 
the best observation be secured. The artillery can 
deliver unobserved fire by use of map data, but the 
firing is much more accurate with observation. Ob- 
servation is not too great a problem in rolling, open 
terrain and when friendly aviation has control of the 
air. However, in forested country or on flat terrain, 
proper observation is difficult to obtain. 

(3) Communication. Fire control is impossible 
without some means of communication. In the 


armored division, radio is the primary means of com- 
munication. Prior to the attack, arrangements are 
made for the armored infantry company commanders 
to check into one artillery fire direction net in order 
that these officers may call for and adjust artillery 
fire in case an artillery forward observer becomes a 
casualty or cannot be contacted. 

(4) Liaison. The purpose of liaison is to promote 
cooperation and coordination of effort by personal 
contact. Liaison is facilitated by establishing com- 
mand posts as close together as is consistent with the 
principles of security. 

(5) Use of staff. Staff officers assist in control 
and coordination. They procure and furnish required 
information, prepare details of plans, and transmit 
orders to lower units. 

(6) Constant supervision. The battalion com- 
mander makes frequent visits to subordinate units to 
insure the desired control and coordination. 

c. Classes of coordination. Fire control and 
coordination are tactically classified as follows: 

( 1 ) Prior to attack. Control prior to the attack 
is comparatively simple. All administrative matters 
are settled at this time. Provisions are made for the 
destruction or neutralization of all known targets. 
Appropriate battle missions are assigned in the at- 
tack orders, leaving control initially to subordinate 
commanders. However, provisions are made for 
regaining control. Communications and liaison are 
checked at this time. 

(2) During attack. Once the attack has started, 
centralized control is difficult, the degree of control 
being directly dependent upon the amount of pre- 
arrangement prior to the attack. The battalion staff 
is used at this time to coordinate the attack as much 
as possible wihout restricting the individual initiative 
of subordinate commanders. 


(3) During reorganization. Centralized control is 
regained during reorganization. Prearranged de- 
fensive fires of organic, attached, and supporting ele- 
ments are coordinated for repelling counterattacks. 
Additional fire plans are made as necessary. Plans 
for resuming the offensive are initiated immediately. 

(4) During defense. In a defensive situation all 
subordinate units are maintained under centralized 
control, and each is assigned a definite sector of de- 
fense. As in other situations, liaison is established 
between supporting and supported units, and fire 
control within each subordinate unit is the responsi- 
bility of each unit commander. 


a. General. Fire control of supporting weapons 
is achieved by detailed preliminary plans. The bat- 
talion commander confers with commanders of all 
supporting and subordinate units. The plans in- 
clude — 

( 1 ) Assignment of definite missions, with target 
priorities for each major weapon." 

( 2 ) A tentative schedule of fires. 

(3 ) Assignment of definite sectors for all units. 

b. Tanks. The infantry battalion and tank unit 
commanders coordinate the mission for the tanks 
with the battalion plan of fire and maneuver. The 
coordination plans include — 

( 1 ) Methods of communication. 

( 2 ) Selection of a position for the tanks. 

(3) Possible courses of action. Alternate plans 
are made for either the tanks or infantry to take the 
lead. As the situation changes, it may be necessary 
to alter those plans. ( See FM 1 7-36. ) 

c. Artillery. Artillery supports by means of its 
firepower, and its fire is coordinated with the bat- 
talion fires. The artillery delivers heavy concentra- 


tions on enemy weapons and positions which are 
hampering the carrying out of the infantry missions. 
Some artillery fire may be diverted to antitank de- 
fenses. The decisions and plans of the artillery are 
based on the plan of the armored infantry battalion 
commander. Selection and organization of artillery 
positions are left to the artillery commander. 

d. Governing conditions. Fire "control depends 
upon thorough discipline and training of individuals 
and crews of crew-served weapons; use of proper 
weapons and ammunition; skill in the designation of 
targets and in the prompt identification of such tar- 
gets, observation, communication, and timing. Tim- 
ing is the ability to judge the pace of an attack and 
to vary that pace to meet the demands of the situa- 
tion. Timing is the key to coordinated effort. Once 
the engagement has started, time and space rela- 
tionships are kept in mind constantly. The degree 
of coordination attained is directly proportionate to 
the accuracy of estimation and application of time 
and space factors. 


a. General. Communication facilities of the ar- 
mored infantry battalion are radio, wire, messenger, 
visual and sound signals, and pigeons. The battalion 
commander in planning communication to be used 
under various conditions, considers the capabilities 
and limitations of each available means of communi- 
cation, selecting the method best suited to the situa- 
tion. Alternate means are always provided. The bat- 
talion commander is responsible for having available 
at all times two or more means of communication 
with higher headquarters, subordinate and adjacent 

b. Communication officer. The communication 
officer coordinates the communication systems of the 


battalion. As a staff officer, he advises the battalion 
commander of the most efficient employment of the 
available means of signal communication at his dis- 
posal and aids in the preparation of signal orders as 
required. His duties include — 

( 1 ) Training unit communication personnel. 

(2) Establishing effective communication SOP. 

(3) Disseminating SOI information. 

(4) Coordinating supply and maintenance of com- 
munication equipment. 

c. Message center. The purpose of the battalion 
message center is to speed the transmission of mes- 
sages. When the command post is established, the 
message center is located at the entrance of the most 
probable route messengers will use in entering the 
command post. For operation of message center see 
FM 24-5. 

d. Signal operation instructions, standing 
signal instructions. Signal operation instructions 
(SOI) are instructions issued for the technical con- 
trol and coordination of all signal agencies within a 
command. Standing signal instructions (SSI) con- 
tains instructional material describing the methods of 
using various items published in the SOI. The bat- 
talion normally operates under the SOI and SSI of 
the next higher echelon. Necessary changes in the 
SOI and SSI are made by the command issuing them. 
Using personnel must have pertinent extracts of the 

e. Radio. ( 1 ) Radio is the principal means of 
communication within the battalion. It is used be- 
tween rapidly moving units and in fast-moving situa- 
tions where other means of communication are im- 
practicable. Radio is divided into — 

(a) Radio telegraphy {CW). This is used be- 
tween battalion and higher units. Operators trained 
in code and maintenance of equipment are needed 


to operate the equipment. CW net procedure is 
covered in FM 17-70, FM 24-6, and FM 24-10. 
Procedure signals (signs) are found in FM 24-12. 

( b ) Radio telephony ( voice ) . Radio telephone is 
employed within the battalion and with higher units. 
Radio telephone (r/t) procedure is covered in 
FM 24-9. 

( 2 ) Radio equipment. Radio sets within the bat- 
talion are of various types to fit the diversified needs 
of battalion communication. The dependable range 
of any radio set is limited by the frequency used, 
time of day, weather, and terrain conditions. For 
distribution of sets in battalion, see current tables of 
equipment. Radio sets in the battalion are — 

(a) SCR-506. A medium range set, with a range 
of 75 miles by CW and 25 miles by voice. The 
transmitter has four preset and one tunable channels. 

{b) SCR-508. A short range set with two re- 
ceivers and one transmitter. It has a range of 10 
miles for voice only. There are ten channels avail- 
able for transmitting and twenty for receiving. The 
set does not require a skilled operator, but it must 
be preset by a radio repairman. 

(c) SCR-509. A two channel set for portable 
work with a voice range of 5 miles. This radio must 
be aligned by a radio repairman. 

(d) SCR-510. The same as the SCR-509, ex- 
cept it is installed in a vehicle and is powered by the 
vehicle battery. 

(e) SCR-528. The same as the SCR-508, except 
it has only one transmitter and one receiver. 

(/) SCR-536. A portable set with a voice range 
of 1 mile. 

(g) SCR— 193. A substitute receiver and transmit- 
ter for the SCR-506. Only one tunable channel is 
available. The range is 50 miles with CW and 25 
miles with voice. 




(3) Radio nets. The basic radio net used in the 
armored infantry battalion is shown in figure 7. The 
composition of the net may change, depending on 
the formation, disposition, and mission of the bat- 
talion. Other nets which may be established are air 
warning nets, march control nets, and liaison nets. 
Net changes can be easily accomplished due to the 
number of preset channels available in each set. 
Figure 8 shows basic radio nets of a tank-infantry- 
artillery team. FM 24-6 furnishes a guide for radio 
net operation. 

/. Wire. ( 1 ) The battalion commander uses wire 
whenever practicable. . It is one of the safest means 
of communication within the battalion and gives the 
battalion commander a means of personal conver- 
sation with his subordinates. However, wire com- 
munications may be intercepted without actual 
contact, especially in the forward areas. 

(2) Wire is usually laid from higher to lower 
echelons. All communication personnel is trained in 
the laying and use of wire. This is covered in FM 
24-20 and FM 17-70. 

(3) Wire communication between battalion and 
company command posts is established when the bat- 
talion is on the defense, and in bivouac or assembly 

(4) Wire communications equipment available 
within the battalion consists of a switchboard, field 
telephones, portable reel equipment, and field and 
assault wire. 

g. Visual communication. Visual communica- 
tion in the battalion consists of flags, panels, pyro- 
technics, hand signals, signal lamps, and colored 

( 1 ) Flags are used in inter-vehicular communica- 
tions in the control of march columns. Each combat 


vehicle is equipped with flag sets for this purpose. 
Flag signals are covered in FM 17—5. 

(2) Panels are issued in several types to the bat- 
talion. They are used in air-ground communica- 
tion and for identification of ground units. 
Complete instructions on employment of panels are 
found in Combined Communications Board Pro- 
cedure 8 (CCBPS). 

(3) Pyrotechnics are used in accordance with in- 
structions in the SOI and field order. Rifle and 
carbine grenade launchers are available for use in the 
battalion. They are used as a means of communica- 
tion within the battalion, between adjacent or sup- 
porting units, and for air-ground identification and 
communication. The use of pyrotechnics necessi- 
tates close cooperation and prior planning. FM 
17-70 and FM 24-5 give instructions in the use of 

(4) Hand signals are used by leaders in dismounted 
actions to control their units. Their use is limited 
by visibility and terrain. Special signals may be 
assigned within a unit for a particular mission. 

(5) The use of signal lamps requires careful co- 
ordination and is restricted by visibility. Signals sent 
from rear to front may be interrupted by the enemy. 

(6) Colored smoke is used principally to identify 
friendly troops. 

h. Messenger. Messenger communication is used 
by all units. Its use is dependent upon personnel 
rather than equipment. Messengers may be on foot 
or mounted in vehicles. Special training is given 
messengers as outlined in FM 24-5. 

i. Sound. The battalion has bugles and gas alarms 
for sound communication. Any audible sound pro- 
duced by a mechanical or acoustical device, exclud- 
ing speech, may be used. The sound signals are co- 


ordinated by higher headquarters. Standard signals 
are prescribed in FM 24-5. 

Pigeons are a means of communication used 
from the front to the rear, and are obtained from the 
signal officer of the higher headquarters when the 
situation warrants their use. 


Communication security comprises all means taken to 
prevent the enemy from gaining information by inter- 
ception or observation. The SOI publishes codes and 
key words to facilitate communication security. To 
prevent improper use of wire and radio communica- 
tion, strict discipline is maintained at all times. In 
instances where secrecy is required radio silence is im- 
posed. Enemy intercept stations are able to locate 
accurately the position of radio stations. For general 
instruction in safeguarding of military information see 
AR 380-5, and for counterintelligence see FM 30-25. 
Principles for security are listed in FM 17-70. 


a. The battalion commander establishes liaison with 
higher headquarters by means of a liaison officer. 
Other officers or competent noncommissioned officers 
are used to establish liaison with adjacent units. The 
effectiveness of liaison is directly proportional to the 
efficiency of the liaison officer. 

b. In order to insure efficient liaison, the battalion 
commander selects intelligent and tactful officers for 
this duty. Liaison officers must be alert, intelligent, 
competent, tactful, and energetic. Special training is 
desirable and includes — 

( 1 ) Map and air photograph reading. 

(2) Terrain appreciation. 

(3) Staff procedure of higher units. 

(4) Tactics and technique of other arms. 


c. On arrival at higher headquarters or adjacent 
units the liaison officer informs the message center 
where he can be found. He informs the unit com- 
mander of his battalion commander's plan of action 
and the tactical situation. With tact and energy he 
obtains the exact tactical situation and plan of action 
of the unit and assures himself that his battalion com- 
mander is immediately informed. While with a unit 
he keeps the message center informed of where he can 
be found in order to keep abreast of any changes that 
occur. Changes in the tactical situation or plans are 
immediately reported in order to facilitate command 
and coordination of effort. 

d. The battalion commander makes necessary ar- 
rangements for his staff to give the fullest cooperation 
to liaison officers from other units. He instructs his 
message center to keep an accurate record of the ar- 
rival, departure, presence, and absence of all liaison 
officers, organic and attached. 

e. For further details see FM 101-5. 





The subject of marches is covered in detail in 
FM 25-10 and FM 100-5. 

a. A successful march is one that places troops and 
equipment at their destination at the proper time and 
in proper condition to fight. A successful march de- 
pends upon good march discipline. This can be ob- 
tained only by thorough training in march procedure 
and rigid enforcement of march rules. 

b. In planning the march, the battalion com- 
mander considers the following factors which vary the 
speed of vehicles : 

( 1 ) Poor visibility caused by darkness, dust, fog, 
smoke, or rain. 

(2) Condition of roads. 

(3) Terrain. 

(4) Mobility of vehicles within the column. The 
maximum speed is governed by the slowest vehicles 
in the column. 

(5) Condition of the vehicles. 

(6) Tactical situation. 

c. After studying all the factors which govern the 
speed of the vehicles, the battalion commander deter- 
mines the rate of march, which is the average speed 
over a period of time, including periodic short halts. 
The rate of march must be such to accomplish the 
movement in the time desired. Due to the terrain 
and conditions of the route it is impossible for the 
march unit to maintain an even rate of speed. Ve- 


hides necessarily slow down going up steep hills, 
through muddy or rough roads, around curves, 
through towns or cities, or in inclement or foggy 
weather. They can increase speed on good roads or 
on level ground. The battalion commander, after 
considering factors which will alter the speed of the 
vehicles, sets a maximum speed for the leading ve- 
hicles of each march unit. Another maximum speed 
is set for vehicles within the column. Vehicles within 
the column are given a greater maximum speed than 
lead vehicles in order that they may regain their 
proper distance should they fall behind. The vehicles 
never exceed the prescribed maximum speeds. The 
lead vehicles are driven with caution over rough or 
dangerous areas, picking up speed gradually as they 
reach more advantageous conditions. Following ve- 
hicles keep their proper distance. When good march 
conditions exist, all vehicles move as near the maxi- 
mum speed limit as possible, in order to regain time 

d. For detailed discussion of distances between ve- 
hicles, see FM 25-10. The density of vehicles de- 
pends upon the tactical situation. When an air attack 
is imminent, vehicles may be 1 00 yards or more apart. 
When air superiority is assured and road space is 
needed, the commander may prescribe that vehicles 
move in close-column formation. 


The march order is usually oral, supplemented by 
sketches or marked maps of the route. Each vehicle 
commander and each driver must know the route, 
and when practicable be given a sketch of the route. 
For forms of march orders, see FM 25—10 and 
FM 101-5. 

a. Warning orders. Warning orders are issued 
far enough in advance of the time set for the depar- 

615398° — 44 3 


ture so that proper preparations for the march may 
be made. The time required to complete these prep- 
arations depends upon many factors, such as the status 
of supply and maintenance and the tactical situation 
in which the troops may be involved at the time the 
warning is issued. 

b. Plans. Plans are based on a complete estimate 
of the situation. The mission, terrain, zone or routes, 
and probable future employment constitute the basis 
for the decision and march plan. Plans for move- 
ment include — 

Formation for the march. 
Rate of march. 
Route, routes, or zone. 
Phase lines and control points. 
Security measures. 
Route reconnaissance. 
Maintenance and evacuation. 

( 1 ) Formation for the march. The march for- 
mation depends upon the orders of the higher com- 
mander, the routes or terrain, the enemy situation, 
the place in column. Advance, flank, and rear guard 
formations of the battalion are covered in chapter 5. 

(2) Route. The route or zone usually is desig- 
nated by the higher commander. When a zone of 
advance is given, or the unit is operating alone, the 
commander, by map reconnaissance, selects his route 
and alternate routes. 

(3) Phase lines and control points. Phase lines 
should be clearly distinguishable terrain features such 
as streams, crossroads, and. well-defined ridges across 
the line of march. They are spaced from 1 to 2 
hours apart, and are used for control purposes. The 
heads of columns cross phase lines at predesignated 
times or upon order of the higher commander. Such 



1115] CP 


-4 81 



(~\ MED 

DET f^R(-) 






Figure 9. Typical march formation of an interior battalion, 
minus trains. 


other points as may be necessary are designated for 

(4) Security. Security is covered in chapter 5, 
this manual, FM 100-5 and FM 17-100. 

(5) Route reconnaissance, (a) After receiving 
warning orders the commander procures all informa- 
tion practicable concerning the route of advance. 
This information includes conditions of roads and 
bridges, location of denies, places where guides must 
be posted, and areas where enemy attack may be 
expected. When acting alone he has as much of the 
route as practicable reconnoitered. (See FM 25—10.) 
When operating as an interior unit of a column he 
depends primarily upon map reconnaissance and in- 
formation received from higher headquarters. 

(b) When examining the map, the commanding 
officer looks for places where the column may stray 
from the route. He looks for streams which may 
cause trouble and places where the column might be 
ambushed. Ground reconnaissance is planned on 
the basis of map reconnaissance. 

(6) Supplies. A check is made to see that the unit 
has a normal supply of equipment, fuel and lubri- 
cants, ammunition, food, water, and that all special 
requirements for the operation have been met. The 
administrative plan must be adequate to facilitate 
continued administrative support. 

18. TRAINS. 

a. The company maintenance section follows at 
the tail of the company column. 

b. The battalion ammunition section and fuel and 
lubricant vehicles follow at the rear of the battalion. 

c. Kitchen, ration, water, and equipment vehicles 
move with the battalion or the next higher unit trains. 
For long marches they accompany their companies or 
are grouped with the supply and transportation pla- 
toon at the rear of the battalion. When combat be- 


Figure 10. Route reconnaissance by map. Guides will be 
needed at 1, 2, and 3. Bridges at 4 and 5 must be examined. 


comes imminent for the battalion, these vehicles drop 
out of column at a designated locality and join the 
higher unit trains. 

d. The battalion medical detachment is distributed 
throughout the column. (See fig. 9.) (For details 
see ch. 11.) 

e. The battalion maintenance section marches at 
the rear of the column. 

/. The battalion personnel section remains with 
next higher unit of division trains. 


a. Maintenance section. The company mainte- 
nance section is placed at the tail of the company 
march column to render assistance to organic trans- 
portation of the company. When a job is encoun- 
tered which is beyond the capacity of the men and 
tools available in the company section, or when time 
is not available, the vehicle is turned over to the bat- 
talion maintenance section. This section makes nec- 
essary repairs, or turns the vehicle over to the mainte- 
nance battalion sections or platoons supporting the 
march column. 

b. Duties. Roads are cleared immediately of 
stalled and disabled vehicles. Vehicles are repaired if 
practicable. The march column personnel and the 
column second-echelon maintenance sections accom- 
plish this, if possible, prior to the arrival of the main- 
tenance battalion personnel. Disabled vehicles are 
removed to the side as far as the ditches or shoulders 
of the road allow, so as not to obstruct traffic. The 
driver and assistant driver remain with the vehicle. 
Other personnel are placed in other vehicles in the 

c. Driver maintenance. Drivers and assistant 
drivers are alert at all times on the march to detect 
any unusual noises or other indications of defects. 
During halts they check their vehicles and vehicular 


loads for presence and security. (For details see 
ch. 10.) 


a. The unit moves out of the bivouac area at the 
proper time to reach the IP at the time scheduled. 

b. The commanders have no fixed posts in the. 
column, but go where they can best observe the move- 
ment and exercise control. However, the command- 
ers usually have their command post vehicles near the 
head of the elements for which they are responsible, 
in order to obtain early information of any emergency 
that may arise. 

c. A control officer marches -at the head of each 
march unit. He regulates the rate of march of his 
unit and insures maintenance of direction. 

d. A staff officer patrols the column. He falls out 
of column, watches vehicles pass, and rejoins the head 
of the column at the halt. He checks on the number 
of vehicles which have become stalled or disabled, and 
security and march discipline. He reports the result 
of the check to the battalion commander. He is 
provided with a radio for emergency contact with the 
head of the column. 

e. The following measures are taken to insure se- 
curity against air attack: 

( 1 ) One radio in the battalion headquarters is 
kept on the air warning net if such is established, or 
on the higher command net. 

(2) An adequate warning system is established. 

(3 ) Vehicles move at increased intervals. 

(4) Vehicular weapons of alternate vehicles are 
trained to cover the front, right, rear, and left, giving 
all-around protection. The weapons are manned at 
all times. 

(5) Sufficient air observers are posted to provide 
all-around observation. (See fig. 11.) 


Figure 11. Air security on the march. Vehicular weapons are 
pointed alternately to the front, right, rear, and left. Each 
vehicle has all-around observers. 


(6) At temporary halts, vehicles are moved under 
concealment, if possible, and tracks are brushed out. 
If concealment is not available, vehicles are moved 
off the road and dispersed, if possible. Fox holes are 
dug at long halts. 

/. Personnel in %-ton trucks, or heavier vehicles, 
are used as traffic guides, guards, and connecting files 
to keep contact with the unit ahead. (For details, 
see FM 25-10.) 

g. A billeting party is sent ahead, as required by 
higher headquarters, to guide units into bivouac. 
(See par. 23.) 


a. Normally a scheduled halt of 15 minutes is made 
after the first hour and halts of 10 minutes at the end 
of 1 hour and 50 minutes thereafter. In a long 
column, some units may not have left the bivouac 
before the first 15-minute halt, and other units may 
have traveled only a few minutes'. These halts are 
for the purpose of inspections and maintenance of 
vehicles, rest of personnel, and changing drivers. 

b. Halts for feeding usually coincide with refuel- 
ing halts. 

c. For security at the halt, see chapter 5. 


The armored infantry units march mounted until 
forced by the terrain, proximity of the enemy, or 
enemy fire, to dismount. Fundamentals contained in 
FM 7-20, pertaining to dismounted marches, are 
applicable to dismounted armored infantry units. 
Dismounted action is covered in subsequent sections 
of this manual. 


a. General. (1) Selection. The battalion biv- 
ouac area is usually selected by the combat command 
or higher headquarters. At times the selection 


may be made by the battalion commander. The 
site is selected and announced as early as possible, 
so that the billeting party can complete all necessary 
arrangements prior to the arrival of the battalion. 

(2) Bivouac requirements. Bivouac sites should 
provide cover and concealment, natural obstacles 
to mechanized attack, good standing for vehicles, 
sufficient area to provide necessary dispersion, and 
sufficient exits to prevent being blocked by enemy ac- 
tion, and be close to the route of march. 

(3) Size. The size of bivouac areas required 
varies with the tactical situation and the terrain. To 
bivouac the entire battalion with an interval between 
vehicles of 50 yards requires approximately 83 acres 
or a square of 635 yards on the side. This interval 
between vehicles may be increased or decreased ac- 
cording to the tactical requirements or the terrain. 
To allow for terrain obstacles, sparse or uneven cover, 
and road or trail nets, the billeting officer seeks an 
area of approximately 1,000 yards square to insure 
that vehicles are adequately spaced and concealed. 

b. Reconnaissance. (1) Billeting party. To 
facilitate movement in the bivouac, the battalion 
commander designates a detail comprising — 

(a) A billeting officer, usually the S-l. 

( b ) A guide, preferably a noncommissioned officer 
from each company and attached unit. Additional 
company guides are furnished if the transportation 
and the tactical situation permits. 

(2) Duties. The general duties of the billeting 
party are — 

(a) To select the bivouac site if this has not been 
previously determined, and to make necessary ar- 
rangements for its occupancy. 

(b) To apportion the area among the companies 
and separate units of the command. 

(c) To reserve facilities for administration, supply, 
and command. 





(d) To select positions along trails within the unit 
area where it may halt temporarily until final adjust- 
ments can be made. 

(3 ) The billeting officer reconnoiters the area prior 
to making company and separate unit assignments and 
studies the terrain so as to advise the battalion com- 
mander on necessary camouflage and security meas- 
ures. He then posts the company and unit guides. 

c. Movement into bivouac. Companies and sep- 
arate units move into the area without halting. Es- 
tablished roads and trails are followed as near as 
possible. Vehicles follow one behind the other and 
no new trails are created unless necessary. (See figs. 
15 and 16). After arrival in the area, each vehicle is 
moved by a previously reconnoitered route into its 
final position, and camouflaged. In this movement 
each vehicle is preceded by a dismounted man and is 
placed in position in such a manner that it can leave 
the bivouac area with a minimum of maneuvering. 
Individual tracks leading to separate vehicles are 
brushed out. New roads follow natural terrain lines 
and continue past the area to a logical termination, 
such as a road. (See fig. 17.) 

d. Organization of bivouac areas. Companies 
and units are placed in the bivouac area so that they 
can use their vehicles to defend the area. Security 
against air and ground attack is posted far enough 
away to give ample warning. Radio and direct wire 
communication is established at once. Command 
posts and kitchens are placed near the main trails 
leading into the area and as near the center of their 
respective areas as possible. Supply and service units 
are placed near the trails and away from other local- 
ities. The battalion medical detachment is placed 
near the center of the battalion area. 

e. Camouflage of bivouac areas. (FM5-20). 
The battalion bivouacs by companies, and companies 




615398° — 44 4 


by platoons, taking full advantage of concealment af- 
forded by trees, brush, rocky terrain, buildings, and 
other surroundings. New trails are not made unless 
necessary and movement is kept to the minimum. 
When enemy planes are overhead, all personnel ex- 
cept the antiaircraft gunners remain under cover in 
their foxholes. If possible, foxholes are not dug in 
the open. The men are not allowed to congregate. 
When necessary, feeding may be decentralized by the 
use of carrying parties. Latrines are well concealed, 
spoil covered, and strict camouflage discipline is ob- 
served day and night. 

/. Security against air attack. Air security in 
bivouac is obtained primarily by concealment and dis- 
persion. Security measures include — 

( 1 ) Keeping one radio in battalion headquarters 
on the air warning net, if such is established, or on 
the higher command net. 

(2) Posting air sentries and establishing an air 
warning system. 

(3) Brushing out vehicular tracks which might 
give the position away. 

(4) Enforcing rigid camouflage discipline. 

(5) Digging of foxholes by all individuals. 

(6) Enforcing fire control. All effective weapons 
are used to fire against hostile low-flying airplanes. 
Carbines, pistols, and submachine guns are not con- 
sidered effective. All troops charged with this duty 
are constantly prepared for immediate action, but will 
fire only upon order of an officer or 'responsible non- 
commissioned officer. No airplane will be fired upon 
unless it has been clearly recognized as hostile or is 
positively identified as hostile, or attacks with bombs 
or gun fire. (See FM 100-5.) 

(7) Caliber .50 machine guns are manned. They 
may be removed from the vehicles and mounted on 
ground mounts. 




The fundamentals of security are covered in FM 
100-5. For details of ground security measures, see 
FM 7-20. 

a. Security includes all measures taken by a com- 
mand to protect itself against annoyance, surprise, 
and observation by enemy forces. Adequate and 
timely information of the enemy is the basis of all 
security measures. 

b. The unit commander is responsible for the se- 
curity of his unit as a whole. He checks on and 
coordinates local security measures and provides for 
general security of the unit in accordance with plans 
of the higher commander. 


Security against ground observation and attack while 
on the march is obtained by reconnaissance and by 
the use of advance, flank, and rear guards and 

a. Reinforced battalion acting alone. (1) 
Reconnaissance. When acting alone the battalion 
uses its reconnaissance platoon to reconnoiter 3 to 7 
miles ahead of the advance guard and 1 to 2 miles 
on each side, depending on the road net. Squads are 
sent to reconnoiter ahead and to the flanks. The ve- 
hicles work in pairs. Any resistance met is imme- 
diately reported to the battalion commander. The 
reconnaissance platoon seeks to determine the 



strength, composition, disposition, and flanks of the 
enemy, and makes reports immediately to the bat- 
talion commander by the best means available. ( See 
sec. II, ch. 9.) 

(2) Advance guard. The advance guard of a re- 
inforced infantry battalion acting alone frequently 
consists of a rifle company reinforced with a platoon 
of tanks, engineers, and one or more assault guns 
and mortars. 

(a) The company (support) commander usually 
rides near the tail of the advance party. The bat- 
talion commander may march with the support com- 
mander. (See fig. 19.) 

( b ) The artillery usually marches between the sup- 
port and the main body. An artillery observer 
usually marches with the advance party. 

( c ) The advance guard attacks boldly and attempts 
to overcome hostile resistance. If enemy resistance is 
too strong, it uncovers enemy defensive positions, in- 
cluding flanks. While doing this it serves as a cover- 
ing force for the development of the main body and 
later as an element of the base of fire. 

(3) Flank guards, (a) Flank guards are sent out 
2 to 5 miles, depending on the road net, to protect the 
flanks of the battalion. Prior information of the route 
may indicate the necessity for attaching engineers. 
Flank guards for a battalion usually consist of rifle 
platoon, with attached supporting weapons. A rein- 
forced rifle company may be used as a flank guard 
for a combat command. 

( b ) Flank guards protect the battalion from ground 
observation and surprise attack from the flanks. Points 
from which the enemy may observe the march of the 
column are reconnoitered. Movement is usually by 
bounds. Key positions, the holding of which will 
protect the main body, are occupied. A flank guard 
may split into two or more elements and use the 
leapfrog method of advance. 


A ^ BN RCN J Lateral Responsibility 

I PLAT I 800 »ds 


il Ths will lead if mines and small 
POINT <T caliber fire is expected, 1/4 ton 
I wilt lead if. AT fire is expected. 


Arty Obsr 


Rifle Squad 
CD MG Squad 
60mm Mort Squad 



Figure 19. Reinforced company as advanced guard. Tanks are 
used in the point when it is expected that AT guns are not 
present and that only small arms fire will be encountered. 


(4) Rear guard, (a) When the battalion is ad- 
vancing, the rear guard usually consists of a rifle pla- 
toon with an assault gun attached. The rear guard 
follows the main body 5 to 10 minutes. When the 
enemy attacks from the rear, the rear guard fights a 
delaying action withdrawing a portion of its force 
under cover of the fire of the remainder, occupying 
positions that afford long range fields of fire and at 
the same time good routes of withdrawal. 

(b) When the battalion is retiring, a stronger rear 
guard is detailed. The rear guard in this case is sim- 
ilar in organization to the advance guard. It con- 
sists of a rear party followed by a rear point. Such a 
force may consist of a rifle company reinforced with 
assault guns, machine guns, mortars, engineers, and 
tanks. Artillery moves between the rear guard and 
the main body. The artillery observer marches with 
the rear guard commander. The mission of the rear 
guard is to protect the main body from surprise attack. 

b. Reinforced battalion as an advance guard. 
( 1 ) The mission of an advance guard is to insure the 
uninterrupted advance of the main body and to pro- 
tect it against surprise and observation by hostile 
ground forces. The action of the advance guard as a 
whole depends on the plan of the column commander. 
The advance guard commander must be careful that 
he does not commit the column commander to a line 
of action that will hinder freedom of movement of 
the main body. 

(2) Considerations which influence the composi- 
tion and formation of balanced and unbalanced col- 
umns (FM 17-100) influence also the composition 
and formation of main tactical groups within columns, 
including the leading group, the advance guard. 

(3) When the battalion is detailed as an advance 
guard, one or two rifle companies may be detached 
to form tactical groupings with tank battalions within 


the same march column. The battalion, less detach- 
ments, is usually reinforced by a field artillery battery, 
a light tank company, or both light and medium 
tanks, and an engineer platoon. 

(4) The reconnaissance platoon is used for recon- 
naissance to the front and flanks even though a cav- 
alry troop, mechanized, may be out in front. Ele- 
ments of the reconnaissance platoon are not used in 
the point. 

(5) Arrangements are made for patrols to the 
flank. Half-tracks, available j4-ton trucks, and light 
tanks, if present, are used for this purpose. 

(6) Points where the enemy may have good ob- 
servation are investigated. Woods and defiles are 
checked for possible enemy ambush. 

( 7 ) An artillery observer marches with the advance 

(8) The artillery commander marches with the 
battalion commander, who has such staff as he de- 
sires, in the interval between the support and the 
advance party. Here they obtain early information 
of the enemy. 

(9) The artillery battery marches in the interval 
between the support and reserve. 

(10) The battalion command post is at the head 
of the reserve. The battalion executive officer or 
headquarters commandant conducts the march of 
the advance guard reserve. Company commanders 
(except the support commander) march with the bat- 
talion command post. Companies are conducted by 
the senior platoon leader, all platoon leaders being at 
the head of their respective companies. 

(11) The column commander is kept informed of 
the situation. This is done by radio or messenger. 
He usually is near the advance guard commander or 
near the head of the reserve. 


c. Reinforced battalion as flank guard. ( 1 ) 
The reinforced armored infantry battalion may be 
used as a flank guard. If strong enemy forces are 
expected, artillery, engineer, and tank destroyer 
elements should be attached. 

(2) When key points must be occupied and 
elements of the battalion are moved by leapfrogging 
or by successive bounds, light tanks, because of their 
mobility and fire power, are valuable attachments. 

(3) As a flank guard the battalion protects the 
main body from observation and surprise attack by 
enemy ground forces. It furnishes its own advance, 
flank, and rear guards. The battalion can expect no 
help from the main body. The following is a guide 
for the planning and execution of duties of the flank 

(a) Select a route roughly parallel to the route of 
the main body. This, depending on the terrain, 
should be from 5 to 15 miles to the flank. 

(b) Select critical points to be held until the main 
body passes. 

(c) Detail detachments to hold these critical points. 
Such detachments may vary from a rifle squad to a 
reinforced rifle company, depending on the impor- 
tance of the critical points. Critical defiles are held 
by road blocks in depth, - each road block being 
covered by antitank and small arms fire. 

(d) Definite instructions are given to each detach- 
ment as to where it is to go, what it is to do, where 
and to whom it is to send messages, how long it is 
to stay in position, and where it is to rejoin the bat- 
talion. If the time cannot be determined, arrange 
for relief by signal, radio, or messenger. 

(e) If critical points are not to be occupied, a for- 
mation for the march that will adequately protect the 
column is prescribed. When the terrain is such that 
the enemy can attack from almost any point, march in 




small groups covering the entire flank of the marching 
column, maintaining a mobile reserve, and arranging 
for rapid concentration to repel attack. 

(/) If attacked, the advance guard concentrates and 
repels the attack-. Hostile forces are prevented from 
by-passing flanks to strike the main body. A delaying 
action is fought, if necessary, by occupying successive 

d. Reinforced battalion as a rear guard. ( 1 ) 
The reinforced battalion is rarely used as a rear guard 
except in withdrawal. The formation of the rear 
guard is the reverse of an advance guard. 

( 2 ) The rear guard in withdrawal protects the main 
body by delaying the enemy and making him fight 
small time-consuming actions. The rear guard must 
not become heavily engaged unless necessary for the 
security of the main body. Then the rear guard sacri- 
fices itself in the execution of its mission. 

e. Armored infantry battalion as part of the 
main body. As part of the main body the battalion is 
responsible for local protection to its flanks to guard the 
battalion against surprise attacks. Men in vehicles are 
sent to the flanks on roads for distances up to l /i mile 
to observe until the battalion has passed. All possible 
observation points overlooking the line of march are 
investigated. The reconnaissance platoon, supple- 
mented by half-tracks or available }4-ton trucks, is used 
for this purpose. (See fig. 18.) 


a. An outpost is a security detachment to protect 
a resting command or a defensive position against 
annoyance, surprise, and observation by enemy ground 

( 1 ) The outpost furnishes security in all directions 
from which enemy ground forces are capable of 


(2) The strength and composition of the outpost 
varies with the distance from the enemy, and his mo- 
bility, armament, and attitude ; the terrain ; time of day ; 
size of the command to be secured ; degree of resistance 
the outpost is expected to offer; and the special duties 
assigned to it. The reinforced battalion may be de- 
tailed as an outpost of a larger command. When 
acting alone the battalion details its own outpost. 
Prior to establishment of an outpost the advance, flank, 
and rear guards form a march outpost. (See fig. 22.) 

b. Reinforced battalion as a march outpost. 
( 1 ) When the reinforced battalion is an advance guard 
the battalion commander, upon receiving the halt order 
designating the battalion march outpost sector, plans 
for and issues orders for the march outpost. 

( 2 ) The march outpost is planned as follows : 

(a) Sectors of responsibility are given to companies 
or platoons. These units are reinforced depending on 
the mission assigned. 

( b ) Likely avenues of approach within the battalion 
sector are covered. 

(c) Artillery is placed to cover the most likely ave- 
nues of approach for hostile troops. 

(d) Reserves are located to repel hostile attack. 

c. March outpost for a reinforced battalion 
acting alone. See figure 22. 

d. Reinforced battalion as an outpost. For 
organization of the outpost, see FM 100-5. 

( 1 ) When on outpost duty the battalion should be 
reinforced by engineers and tanks, and should be sup- 
ported by artillery and tank destroyer elements. 

( 2 ) The outpost for a force as large as a combat 
command should protect the command from observed 
light artillery fire, patrolling avenues of approach at 
least as far as 10,000 yards from the bivouac. 


Figure 22. March outpost for reinforced armored infantry 


(3) The procedure in establishing an outpost is 
as follows: 

(a) On receiving the order for the outpost, make 
a map reconnaissance, divide the area into supports, 
establish the line of supports (OPLR) and the line 
of observation (OPLO), and assign units to support 

(b) Determine places for detached posts. 

(c) Locate the reserve. 

(d) Determine artillery missions. 

(e) Plan for patrols and recognition signals. 

(/) Place plans on a map or overlay and issue 
orders. (See FM 101-5 for form of an order.) 

(g) After supports and outguards have been estab- 
lished, inspect and coordinate the supports with each 
other and with supports in adjacent unit sectors. 
Make necessary adjustments. 

(h) Protect road blocks with antitank and small 
arms fire. 

(i) Make plans for the reserve to counterattack 
enemy penetrations of the OPLR. 

(4) Conduct of the outpost is as follows: 

(a) A patrol visits each outguard at least once 
each hour. Special recognition signals are used so 
outguards will not fire on patrols. Contact between 
supports are established from right to left. 

(b) Patrols from the reserve visit detached posts 
and cover routes to the line of security ( LS ) . If 
the battalion has only a sector of the outpost, the 
reserve sends visiting patrols to the nearest support 
of each adjacent unit. 

(c) The reserve is held in readiness to move to 
any threatened point. 

(d) Radio is silent, except in case of a strong 
enemy attack. Lights are not used. 

(e) Artillery plans supporting fires. Medium 
tanks, if present, and not engaged in counterattacks, 
may be used to reinforce artillery fires. Special sig- 


nals are arranged for firing certain predesignated con- 

e. Outpost for a battalion acting alone. 
When acting alone, whether or not reinforced, the 
battalion establishes an outpost in the manner de- 
scribed in d above. Unless enemy capabilities and 
terrain indicate otherwise, a perimeter defense is estab- 
lished. Such an outpost must be far enough out 
to protect the bivouac from small arms fire, but not 
so far that a major element of the battalion may be 
cut off by the enemy. That is, supports must not 
be beyond tactical supporting distances of the reserve 
or main body. 


a. General. All commanders are responsible 
that camouflage discipline is maintained. They must 
make frequent and thorough inspections to see that 
camouflage measures are being carried out. Air, 
ground, and gas sentries are given additional duties 
of enforcement of camouflage discipline. Until 
troops are thoroughly trained, patrols may be detailed 
to move through the area to check on these measures. 
However, the maximum number of men are allowed 
to rest in bivouac; details must be kept to the 

b. The following breeches of camouflage discipline 
should be corrected: 

( 1 ) Improper location and concealment of ve- 

(2) Improper use of camouflage materials. 

(3) Improper digging of fox holes. All excava- 
tion should be in covered position if possible. The 
fresh, earth is covered with sod or dry grass and weeds 
to conform to surrounding vegetation. 

(4) Reflection of the sun on vehicular mirrors, 
windshields, or other bright objects. 


(5) Fires arid smoking. 

(6) The movement of individuals in open spaces 
and the congregating of men. 

( 7 ) Improper use of lights. 

(8) Improper starting of motocs. It is best to 
start motors at dusk or dawn, when neither the smoke 
or exhaust flash can be seen at a distance. 


Constant surveillance against chemical attack is nec- 
essary at all times. One officer in the battalion is 
trained as a gas officer, and each company has at' 
least one noncommissioned officer trained in defen- 
sive measures. The gas officer is in charge of chem- 
ical training, and all men are taught individual and 
equipment protective measures. Sentries are alert for 
chemical attacks in bivouacs and assembly areas. 
Antiaircraft gunners are on the alert for gas attacks 
from the air. Adequate warning systems are set up, 
with all personnel being acquainted with the warn- 
ing signals. (For details see FM 21-40.) 

615398° — 44 5 



Section I. GENERAL 


a. Missions. The armored infantry battalion in 
offensive action is used as — • 

( 1 ) An assault element, attacking on a predeter- 
mined front to seize designated objectives. 

(2) A support element, supporting assaulting 
troops and consolidating gains of the front line units. 

(3) Reserves, providing depth for the attack and 
flank and rear protection for the attacking element. 

b. Attacking with tanks (FM 17-36). The 
armored infantry normally is employed with tanks in 
offensive action. The infantry attack is coordinated 
with the tank attack to — 

( 1 ) Protect tanks from enemy personnel executing 
antitank measures. 

(2) Seize ground from which tanks may attack. 

(3) Follow the tank attack closely, assisting by 
fire and seizing the objective, mopping up enemy re- 
sistance, and protecting the tank reorganization. 

(4) Form a base of fire for the tank attack. 

(5) Remove or destroy obstacles holding up tank 

c. Tank support (FM 17-36). Tanks, con- 
versely, assist infantry attacks by — 

( 1 ) Supporting by fire. 

( 2 ) , Neutralizing hostile automatic weapons. 

(3) Neutralizing the objective until arrival of the 

(4) Breaking up counterattacks. 


(5) Neutralizing or destroying hostile reserves, and 
destroying or disrupting command, communication, 
and supply installations. 

(6) Making paths through wire and other ob- 

d. For details on the employment of infantry and 
tanks, see FM 17-36. 


a. Characteristics. The armored infantry bat- 
talion in the attack makes full use of its mobility, fire- 
power, and light armor protection from small arms 

b. Mobility. The armored infantry uses its trans- 
portation to move quickly to initial attack positions 
where the infantry dismounts and fights on foot. 
Vehicles, except those used for fire support, are then 
withdrawn to the best available concealed and pro- 
tected positions. Here they are dispersed and local 
security established. The vehicles may be withdrawn 
by company or assembled as a battalion group. The 
reserve company or companies may remain with ve- 
hicles in concealed positions until committed to action 
or required to change position. When the objective 
is taken, vehicles are moved forward to new positions 
as necessary. 

c. Fire power. In the attack the battalion utilizes 
all available weapons, including dismounted vehicular 
weapons when these are not needed for protection of 

d. Armored protection. The half-track person- 
nel carriers provide protection for the troops against 
small-arms fire up to close ranges. The armor also 
gives protection against bomb and shell fragments. 
Troops are transported as far forward as possible in 
each situation; terrain, cover, and the type of weapons 
available to the- enemy governing the dismounting, 


Figure 23. Do not commit troops without fire support. 


Figure 24. Use one company to support by fire. Vehicular 
weapons are used if practicable. 


The vehicular weapons are used to protect the attacking 
troops against air attack. Armor on the half-track 
does not protect crews against antitank weapons and 
direct hits by assault guns and light artillery. 



a. The approach march formation consists of small 
columns — 'squad, section, or platoon — distributed in 
some depth and oh a broad front; it is, in effect, a 
partial deployment. Troops may be mounted if ter- 
rain permits, or dismounted. The approach march 
begins when the unit is forced off the road by distant 
shelling, strafing, or a threat of these; and ends when 
the leading echelon crosses the line of departure or 
comes under effective small-arms fire. If the ap- 
proach march is started mounted, troops dismount 
behind the line of departure to make a dismounted 
attack or, if enemy fire is ineffective and tanks pre- 
cede, the infantry may remain in vehicles until forced 
to dismount by effective enemy fire, or terrain, or to 
deliver an attack. 

b. The battalion ordinarily initiates the approach 
march upon receipt of a development order from the 
combat command. However, when necessary to re- 
duce losses from artillery or air attack, the battalion 
commander promptly initiates development. Orders 
of the battalion commander are issued at the earliest 
practicable moment. Depending upon his knowledge 
of the situation, the orders may be complete at the 
beginning of the march or issued in fragmentary 
form as the march progresses. Development orders 
include — 

( 1 ) Information of the enemy and friendly troops. 

( 2 ) Mission. 


( 3 ) Assembly area or other final march objective. 

(4) Phase lines. 

( 5 ) Zone of advance, including frontages and direc- 
tions of advance for elements of the battalion. 

( 6 ) Formations. 

( 7 ) Communications. 

(8) Axis of advance of march command post. 

(9) Vehicular control. 

(10) Missions of elements of the battalion. 


The battalion in the approach march generally is dis- 
posed in a wedge, inverted wedge, column of com- 
panies, or echeloned formation, depending upon the 
terrain and the situation. Conditions under which 
the various formations probably are used are — 

a. Wedge. The wedge formation, with one rifle 
company in front, one echeloned to the right rear, 
and the other to the left rear, is used when neither 
flank is secure or when the situation indicates an 
envelopment toward either flank may be required. 

b. Inverted wedge. The inverted wedge, with 
two rifle companies to the front and one in the rear, 
is used when the battalion front is wide or visibility 
is restricted. 

c. Column of companies. A column of com- 
panies formation is used when the zone of advance 
is narrow and flanks are secure. 

d. Echelon. An echelon formation is used when 
a flank is exposed. The battalion is echeloned towards 
the exposed flank. 


a. The battalion zone usually is established in or- 
ders from higher headquarters and the advance is 
through this zone. The zone limits are designated 
by easily distinguished terrain features along the 
lateral limits. 


b. Frontages and direction of advance for subordi- 
nate organizations are prescribed by the battalion 
commander in his order. The subordinate units 
are responsible for their individual fronts, the troops 
being disposed across the respective fronts according 
to the terrain, enemy, and situation. 


Normal reconnaissance, as prescribed in chapter 9, is 
conducted. This reconnaissance is continuous. Maps 
and air photographs are utilized by the battalion com- 
mander, and friendly troops to the front and flanks 
are contacted for additional information. 


Security is conducted in accordance with chapter 5. 


Communication is by messenger, visual signals, and 
radio, when not silenced. Telephone wires are not 
laid until initial observation and command posts are 
established. (For details on communication, see 
ch. 3.) 


Vehicles are controlled by the senior officer in each 
march unit. If company commanders are marching 
with the battalion commander, the senior platoon 
leader assumes control of the marching unit. 


a. Organic supporting elements of the battalion 
are distributed within the marching column in accord- 
ance with their employment, as prescribed in 
chapter 9. 

b. If artillery is attached it is disposed within the 
marching battalion in accordance with the situation, 


being governed by the formation of the batu 
the proximity of the enemy, the strength of frienu 
forces in front of the battalion, and the artillery mis- 
sions. However, such artillery always is placed where 
it is protected against sudden enemy thrusts or enemy 
patrols. The artillery liaison officer accompanies the 
battalion commander, and a forward observer is with 
each forward rifle company. 

c. Tanks are employed in accordance with FM 


a. Units of the leading elements move aggressively 
from phase line to phase line, or as directed by the 
battalion commander. Movement is cross-country, if 
possible, in order to take advantage of all natural 

b. Personnel is kept alert, and all crew-served weap- 
ons are manned to counter a surprise attack by the 
enemy. When covering detachments are strong, anti- 
aircraft and antitank weapons may be sent ahead, with 
riflemen for local security, to establish antiaircraft and 
antimechanized security for defiles and the battalion 
assembly area. Regular halts are omitted, the only 
halts being on phase lines where units are reorganized 
and reports are sent to battalion headquarters. A 
march outpost is established when the situation de- 
mands a long halt or when orders for a long halt are 
received from higher headquarters. 


a. General. When the battalion is protected to 
the front by a covering detachment or by a battalion 
to be relieved, an assembly area, or areas, may be 
established. The attack is organized, equipment not 
essential to combat is dumped, extra ammunition is 
issued to the men, men are given a chance to rest 


and check their weapons and vehicles, and final orders 
are issued in the assembly area or areas. 

b. Rear and forward assembly areas. When 
the assembly area is a great distance from the line of 
departure, it may be used as a rear assembly area. In 
this case, a more forward area is chosen for a short 
halt, where final plans are completed. Movement 
from the rear assembly area to the forward assembly 
area is under cover of darkness, when possible, and 
all precautions are taken to preserve secrecy. 

c. Security. Security is the responsibility of all 
commanders, with each company being responsible for 
its own sector. The area is organized similar to a 
bivouac area, the extent of organization being gov- 
erned by the time available. 

d. Launching the attack. The attack may be 
launched from the forward assembly area, at a desig- 
nated line of departure, or from an attack position just 
to the rear of the line of departure. 

e. Disposition of vehicles. When terrain diffi- 
culties make it impossible to move the vehicles beyond 
the assembly areas, they remain in the forward assem- 
bly area under control of the company maintenance 
officers and battalion motor officer. The vehicle 
drivers remain with their vehicles. It is a command 
decision whether or not a gunner remains with each 
half-track mounting a machine gun. The commander 
leaves one gunner with each half-track mounting a 
machine gun when — 

( 1 ) Vehicles are used to support the attack. 

( 2 ) Plans are made to use the vehicles to support a 

(3) Hostile ground or air activity is such that man- 
ning of the machine guns is necessary for protection 
during movement of vehicles. 

(4) The situation warrants the leaving of addi- 
tional men with the vehicles for security purposes due 


to the conditions of terrain, disposition of friendly 
troops, or enemy activity. 



The armored infantry battalion ordinarily attacks as 
a part of a larger force, such as a combat command. 
However, the battalion may be used at times to attack 
independently on a special mission. The higher head- 
quarters assigns the mission or missions, designates 
the zone of action or frontage, designates supporting 
or attached units, and fixes the time of the attack. 
Intermediate terrain objectives may be prescribed. 


a. The battalion commander plans his attack to 
insure maximum fire by the organic and attached 
weapons. Full use is made of the mobility of the 
battalion to bring added firepower to points where 

b. The battalion attack plan is formulated in ac- 
cordance with the possibility of the three following 
situations : 

( 1 ) Meeting engagement. A meeting engagement 
is an unexpected meeting of hostile forces, neither be- 
ing fully disposed for combat. When the battalion 
is moving forward, the commander is prepared at all 
times to take full advantage of the battalion's fire- 
power and maneuverability. The battalion is com- 
mitted promptly, as aggressiveness often is the decid- 
ing factor in a meeting engagement. The battalion 
continues on its mission when resistance is overcome. 
When a meeting engagement is likely, the supporting 
weapons often are decentralized, being attached to 
rifle companies. 


(2) Fluid situations^ The enemy, at times, is 
anxious to break off the action. In situations of this 
type the maneuverability of the armored infantry 
battalion is used to the fullest extent. Attempts are 
made to encircle the enemy and- the attack is con- 
tinuous, hindering the enemy from withdrawing to 
consolidate on another defense area. Contact should 
never be lost., Full use is made of the vehicular 
machine guns in this type of action. 

(3) Organized position. In an attack upon an 
organized position, plans for coordination and spe- 
cial missions are worked out in detail. Preparations 
are as elaborate and detailed as is consistent with time 
available in launching the attack. Supporting troops 
and weapons are given definite missions, and the 
attack is characterized by an initial deliberate probing 
and neutralizing the enemy defense prior to the assault. 


a. Fire and maneuver. The battalion attacks by 
fire and maneuver. Envelopment of the enemy is 
sought. The armored infantry battalion, due to its 
mobility, is especially suited for operating as a flank 
unit for a large force. When used as an interior 
battalion, the initial attack is frontal. However, op- 
portunity for flank attacks is exploited. 

b. Supporting fires. Supporting weapons are 
concentrated on those positions which are holding up 
progress of the battalion. Fire of these weapons is 
shifted as the need arises. 

c. Power of attack. The power of the attack 
may be increased by narrowing the zone of action. 
Successive objectives may be assigned in order to con- 
solidate and coordinate the drive for the assigned 


d. Feinting. Part of the battalion often is used 
to launch a secondary attack in order to deceive the 
enemy as to where the main attack is being launched. 
This secondary attack may become the main attack. 

e. Use of vehicles. In the attack some vehicles 
may be placed in position defilade to support the 
attack by fire. Those vehicles of assault companies 
which are not used' for fire support are placed under 
the best available cover and concealment in rear of 
their respective companies and displaced, each pla- 
toon's vehicles being under control of a noncommis- 
sioned officer of that platoon. These vehicles are 
placed to cover, by fire, the flanks of the assault com- 
panies. As the attack advances vehicles are moved 
forward as directed by the company commander. In 
some cases vehicles may be grouped by battalion. 
When covered routes are available and the terrain 
can be traversed, vehicles are used to move the sup- 
port platoon when it is committed to action. The 
reserve company usually retains its vehicles and moves 
in them either when following the attack or when mov- 
ing to a line of departure. 


Upon receipt of the attack order from higher head- 
quarters, the battalion commander conducts a personal 
reconnaissance and directs that of his staff so as to 
obtain information of the following : 

a. Location of suitable company objectives and zones 
of action. 

b. Critical points or areas likely to be occupied by 
the enemy. 

c. Areas likely to be swept by hostile flat trajectory 

d. Vehicular and dismounted routes of approach. 

e. Location and type of obstacles, which are likely 
to hinder the movement of vehicles and dismounted 


) Suitable positions for supporting weapons. 

g. Positions for vehicles. 

h. Suitable locations for the reserve, supply, and 
evacuation facilities, and the battalion command and 
observation posts. 

2. Location of friendly troops. 
Likely avenues of enemy attack. 


Consolidating previous information, that acquired by 
the personal and staff reconnaissance, and information 
acquired by the reconnaissance platoon and patrols, 
the battalion commander decides how best to employ 
elements of the battalion and attached units. The 
plan consists of two basic elements, the plan of maneu- 
ver and the plan of supporting fires. In addition, 
the plan covers the administrative details of supply 
and evacuation and establishment of signal com- 


a. General. The battalion commander's plan of 
maneuver is his plan for employment of the battalion 
elements for accomplishing the mission. It includes — 

( 1 ) Determination of company objectives. 

(2) Attack positions. 

( 3 ) Reserves. 

(4) Formation. 

(5) Zone of action. 

( 6 ) Time of attack. 

( 7 ) Supporting fires. 

b. Objectives. The higher headquarters attack 
order usually gives the battalion the mission of cap- 
turing one or more terrain features. The battalion 
commander, in turn, assigns the attacking rifle com- 
panies intermediate terrain features as successive ob- 
jectives. Initial objectives should be — 

( 1 ) Easy to recognize. 


(2) Visible from the line of departure or previous 

(3) Such that their capture promotes the accom- 
plishment of the battalion mission. 

(4) Within effective range of battalion supporting 

c. Attack positions. Attack orders from higher 
headquarters direct the battalion to attack from a given 
area. The line of departure is usually designated by 
the battalion commander. 

d. Reserves. A portion of the battalion, pri- 
marily from the rifle companies, initially is held in 
reserve. The size of the reserve depends upon the 
mission and situation, varying from one platoon to 
two companies. Missions of the reserve include — 

( 1 ) Repelling counterattacks. 

(2) Replacing exhausted or disorganized attack- 
ing elements. 

( 3 ) Exploiting hostile weaknesses developed by the 
attacking troops. 

(4) Striking the final blow necessary to capture 
the objective. 

e. Formation. The. formation of the battalion 
depends upon the strength of the main and secondary 
attack and the number and type of attached support- 
ing units. Two rifle companies, with supporting ele- 
ments, generally are used to make the attack, with 
the third rifle company in reserve. One company or 
part of a company can be used in a secondary attack. 

/. Zone of action. A zone of action with a width 
of 500 to 1 ,000 yards generally is assigned a battalion 
in attack. 

g. Time of attack. The time of attack generally 
is given in attack orders from higher headquarters. 
It may be announced as a definite hour, or subordi- 
nate elements may be directed to attack on prescribed 
signal or at the time a prescribed tactical action occurs. 


h. Supporting weapons. Fires of the supporting 
weapons are coordinated with the organic weapons. 
Supporting artillery is considered. Alternate plans 
are made and signals prescribed for changing the fire 
of any support weapon or weapons to alternate targets. 


Control of the battalion is exercised by communica- 
tion, clear concise orders, and frequent personal con- 
tact on the part of the battalion commander and staff 
officers with the combat companies. The battalion 
observation post is as far forward as practicable, with 
communication being established between the obser- 
vation post and command post. (For details, see 
ch. 3.) 


The battalion commander notifies subordinate com- 
manders of their roles in the attack plan immediately 
after formation of the plan. Fragmentary and warn- 
ing orders are used freely, in order to keep the sub- 
ordinate officers abreast of the situation. (For details 
on orders, see FM 101—5:) 


As the attack progresses, it is necessary for the bat- 
talion commander to change his plan, due to unfore- 
seen circumstances. Drastic changes are avoided as 
much as possible. However, favorable developments 
are exploited without hesitation, and new obstacles are 
overcome in the best possible manner. The battalion 
commander alters his plans as necessary. This is done 
without halting the attack, if possible. 


The battalion commander keeps informed of the situa- 
tion by remaining at the observation post or visiting 


attacking elements during the attack. Staff members 
also visit the attacking companies, assisting in coordi- 
nation of effort and in control. The executive officer 
normally remains at the command post. 


a. The attack begins when the leading company 
crosses the line of departure. The leading elements 
move forward in deployed formation, holding fire until 
within effective range of the enemy. 

b. A uniformly held or continuous line of hostile 
resistance is rarely encountered. Irregularities in re- 
sistance and in facilities for advance afforded by the 
terrain and by supporting fires result in the delay of 
some units, while others are able to advance as sched- 
uled. The retarded unit is assisted by the shifting of 
supporting weapons or fire from the more advanced 
units. However, an advanced unit is not held up 
to preserve a general alignment or in order to adhere 
rigidly to the attack plan. An advance element is pro- 
tected by advancing the supporting weapons and the 

c. Full use is made of vehicular and supporting 
weapons. During the advance, the vehicles and sup- 
porting elements are moved forward as soon as prac- 
tical. Determination of time and method of displac- 
ing vehicles forward may be delegated to individual 
commanders. Displacement normally is by bounds. 

d. The reserve is moved forward by the battalion 
commander as the attack progresses, keeping within 
supporting distance of the attacking elements. The 
reserve is used to exploit success rather than redeem 
failure, except in cases of emergency. It is committed 
whenever an opportunity develops to capture the bat- 
talion objective. The reserve is not committed piece- 
meal, but its full strength is hurled at the enemy's weak 
point or points. 

615398°— 44 C 


e. Security measures are planned on the initiation 
of the attack and are continued in force or modified 
according to the progress of the attack. ( For details, 
see ch. 5.) 


a. Whether attacking with tanks or alone, the as- 
sault and seizing of the objective is the same, except 
that the tanks usually pin down the enemy until the 
infantry closes and consolidates the area in coordinated 

b. The assault is conducted by swiftly closing with 
the enemy and annihilating him or driving him from 
the objective. If the battalion or any part of it is 
held up, the battalion commander calls for previously 
prepared support fire, including assault guns, mortars, 
artillery, and tanks, if the terrain is such that the tanks 
cannot close on the objective. The supporting fires 
are lifted by a prearranged signal or at a designated 
time. The assaulting elements then deliver assault 
fire and close with the enemy. 


a. Initial plans and orders of the battalion com- 
mander cover the attack as far as the initial objective. 
Companies move continuously toward the objective, 
halting only for a short reorganization or when held up 
by heavy hostile fire. 

b. When the objectives designated in the initial 
orders are reached, the battalion commander quickly 
reorganizes the attack and issues orders for its con- 
tinuance. Speed in reconnaissance and issuing of or- 
ders is vital in order to permit the exploitation of the 
initial success. 

c. Supporting weapons are brought forward at the 
earliest possible moment in order to afford protection 
against counterattack and support the continuation of 
the attack. 


d. Contact with the enemy is maintained at all 


a. Upon reaching the final objective, the battalion 
commander immediately consolidates the position, pre- 
pares to defend the newly won ground, and pursues the 
enemy by fire. The battalion is reorganized and cas- 
ualties in key positions are replaced. The ground is 
organized and fire plans are made for defense against 
counterattack in accordance with chapter 7. Higher 
headquarters is notified. If ordered to continue, the 
attack is renewed and the enemy pursued at the earliest 
possible moment. 

b. If hostile forces are stronger than expected and 
the battalion is unable to advance to the final objective, 
the troops dig in. Higher headquarters is notified 
immediately and necessary adjustments are made. 



a. Position. An armored infantry battalion' held 
in reserve by the combat command or higher head- 
quarters is placed within supporting distance of the 
attacking units. The position should provide the 
maximum protection against enemy air and ground 
observation, artillery fire, and mechanized attack. 

b. Initial mission. Initially the battalion or com- 
ponent parts are assigned one or more of the follow- 
ing missions: 

( 1 ) To protect the flanks and rear of an assigned 

(2) To maintain contact with adjacent units. 

(3) To assist attacking battalions by fire of heavy 


c. Special missions. Detachments of the reserve 
battalion often are assigned special missions. The 
detachments return to the reserve upon completion 
of their mission or, if possible, before the battalion is 
committed to action. These missions include — 

( 1 ) Assisting attacking tanks in clearing mine fields 
and other obstacles. 

( 2 ) Supporting the attack by assault guns, mortars, 
and heavy machine guns. 

(3) Providing security for evacuation of disabled 
vehicles of the attacking infantry. 

d. When committed to action the battalion may be 
given missions to — 

( 1 ) Exploit a success of the attacking forces. 

(2) Protect a flank exposed by the advance of the 
attacking forces. 

(3) Envelop or outflank resistance that is holding 
up the attack. 

(4) Meet hostile counterattacks. 

( 5 ) Relieve a depleted, disorganized, or exhausted 


a. The battalion commander of a reserve battalion 
keeps abreast of the situation by liaison, observation, 
and frequent visits to higher headquarters. 

b. Plans for the commitment of the battalion to 
any type of action and for any expected mission are 
formulated. Primary consideration is given plans for 
the most likely action of the battalion, but the battalion 
commander must be ready at all times to carry out 
any assigned mission. It is the battalion commander's 
responsibility to visualize all possible situations and the 
best means for putting the battalion into action under 
any situation. 

c. Changes in the situation make it necessary for 
the battalion commander to constantly change his 


d. Patrols and observers are used to assist in gather- 
ing information; also providing local security against 
infiltrating enemy troops. 

e. When the battalion is committed to action, the 
attack is conducted in the normal manner. 





a. Missions. The armored infantry battalion in 
defense is used as — 

( 1 ) Security force. When a strong combat outpost 
is desired, the combat command may use elements of 
an infantry battalion or the entire battalion to estab- 
lish a combat outpost. When the battalion withdraws 
through the main line of resistance, units return to 
assembly positions in the rear and take up reserve 

(2) Holding garrison. The battalion is used to 
defend an area along the main line of resistance. 

(3) Reserve. Reserve battalions are employed 
with other reserve organizations to protect the flanks 
and rear, limit penetrations and counterattack. When 
tanks are used in the counterattack, infantry support 
is given. 

b. Operating alone. When an infantry battalion 
is occupying a defensive area alone, elements of the 
battalion are employed on all three of the missions 
mentioned above. 


a. The use of supporting and attacked troops is con- 
sidered in making defensive plans. Artillery, tank de- 
stroyer, tanks, engineers, and chemical mortar platoons 
may be available, and the battalion commander be- 
fore completing plans, contacts higher headquarters to 
determine what supporting troops are available for 
defense of the battalion area. 


b. Supporting troops generally are employed as fol- 
lows in defense plans: 

( 1 ) Some tank destroyers, preferably towed, may 
be employed to strengthen the infantry antitank de- 
fense. Usually the bulk of the tank destroyers are 
held in mobile reserve. (See FM 18-5.) 

( 2 ) Tanks, held in the reserve, are used to counter- 
attack, according to prearranged plans. (See FM 

( 3 ) Artillery is used to support by fire. 

(4) Engineers are used to assist in preparing em- 
placements and laying out mine fields and obstacles. 

(5) Chemical mortar platoons are used to supple- 
ment the battalion mortar platoon fire. 

c. Antitank platoon. (1) General. The anti- 
tank platoons of the rifle companies comprise the main 
antimechanized defense for the battalion. The pla- 
toons are used to cover all possible approaches of 
mechanized attack and are made mutually supporting. 

(2) Surprise. In order to achieve surprise, the 
antitank guns are not used on secondary targets, such 
as enemy emplacements, machine guns, and similar 
point targets, unless tank or tank destroyer units are in 
direct support of the battalion. Rigid fire control is 
maintained to insure maximum surprise. 

(3) Local security. The antitank guns are pro- 
tected by riflemen and rocket launchers. Standard 
antimechanized warning signals are made known to 
all men of the battalion. 

(4) For details on the employment of the antitank 
guns see FM 17-40. 


The armored infantry battalion may be used in a front 
line position along the main line of resistance. The 
battalion normally is assigned a frontage of 800 to 
1,800 yards, depending on terrain and strength of the 


unit. The depth usually varies from 800 to 1,400 


a. General. The battalion commander occupies 
the battalion area as soon as possible after its designa- 
tion by higher headquarters, in order to afford the 
maximum time for the construction of defensive works. 
When the information on the area is received, the 
battalion commander — 

( 1 ) With some members of his staff, makes a per- 
sonal reconnaissance of the area, and arranges for unit 
commanders to meet him at a convenient point in the 

(2) Arranges for the movement of the battalion 
to the defensive position without delay. 

b. Reconnaissance. The reconnaissance of the 
battalion commander is as detailed as possible. Dur- 
ing the reconnaissance he determines — 

( 1 ) The limits of the battalion area. 

(2) The most likely avenues of approach for hos- 
tile forces. 

(3) Localities to be occupied by security forces to 
screen the position from hostile ground observation. 

(4) Natural obstacles to be converted into defen- 
sive aids. 

(5) Demolitions to be executed. 

(6) Obstacles, including mine fields, to be built. 

(7) Trace of the main line of resistance. 

(8) Key points within the area, the retention of 
which is vital to the defense. 

(9) Boundary and limiting points between com- 

(10) General location of supporting weapons. 

(11) Details of defensive fires and concentrations 
to be requested of supporting artillery. 


(12) Location of observation posts, aid station, 
ammunition distributing point, command post, and 
alternate command post. 

(13) Locations to be occupied by the battalion 

(14) Counterattack plans. 

(15) Location of vehicles. These are held in con- 
cealed positions. 

c. Selection of main line of resistance. (1) 
The main line of resistance is located to protect vital 
terrain; it may be located on either a forward or 
reverse slope. It is traced to provide as many as prac- 
ticable of the following advantages: 

(a) Retention of essential observation to the front 
and flanks, particularly for artillery. 

(b) Concealment of defensive works from air and 
ground observation. 

(c) Denial of close hostile observation into the 

(d) Good fields for grazing and flanking fire of 
automatic weapons. 

(e) Best possible use of natural obstacles, partic- 
ularly antitank obstacles. 

(/) Terrain that facilitates counterattack. 

(2) The trace of the main line of resistance will 
be irregular and contain minor salients and reentrants 
to facilitate the development of flanking fire. The 
formation of large salients and reentrants is avoided. 
The defense areas on the main line of resistance must 
be mutually supporting, and capable of all-around 

( 3 ) A battle position with its main line of resistance 
on a forward slope offers certain inherent advantages. 
From such a position the benefit of observation from 
the forward slope is obtained; and control of the key 
points affording observation for artillery, supporting 
weapons, and commanders is retained. A main line 
of resistance on the forward slope usually possesses the 


most effective fields of fire for flat-trajectory weapons 
and positions from which to observe, to cover by fire, 
and so to maintain the integrity of the natural and 
artificial obstacles in front of the position. By exten- 
sion of the rear limits of the company defense areas 
on the main line of resistance to the reverse slope, 
concealed artd defiladed routes of communication 
which facilitate movement of troops and supplies and 
the efficient use of control agencies are obtained. 

(4) (a) The main line of resistance is located on 
the reverse slope when the lack of cover and conceal- 
ment permits enemy observed fire, particularly from 
direct fire weapons, to make the forward slope unten- 
able; when better fields of fire for flat- trajectory weap- 
ons are available; or when necessary to avoid dangerous 
salients and reentrants. Initially, the forward slope 
may be used for observation, but in selecting a reverse 
slope position, the battalion commander must insure 
that essential observation from locations other than the 
forward slope are available. The reverse slope may 
be selected when control of the forward slope has been 
lost or has not yet been gained, or when the forward 
slope is otherwise unsuitable for defense. Fire plans 
should provide for maximum concentration of artillery 
and mortar fires on the forward slope and crest. The 
main line of resistance should be covered by supporting 
fires from positions next in rear as well as from the 
flanks. Reverse slope positions are strengthened by 
automatic weapons located on or just forward of the 
topographical crest so that effective fire can be brought 
to bear on attacking troops during their approach. 
The weapons so located should have enough overhead 
protection to insure their safety during a heavy volume 
of artillery fire. Antipersonnel mines and wire, may 
be employed effectively on the forward slope. 

(b) In general, the combat strength of a reverse 
slope defense results from fewer casualties suffered from 


enemy fire, losses inflicted on the enemy during his 
approach to the position, and immediate counterat- 
tack by relatively fresh troops before the enemy has 
had time to establish himself. 

d. Distribution. The distribution of rifle com- 
panies generally is two on the main line of resistance 
and one in the reserve. Support weapon elements are 
placed where they can best achieve their mission, each 
element under control of the organization commander, 
if possible. 


The plan for organization of the ground should pre- 
pare the battalion for combat at the earliest possible 
moment. In organizing the ground, the battalion 
commander — 

a. Allots tools, material, and engineer troops, if 
attached, in accordance with the amount and emer- 
gency of the work to be done by subordinate organi- 

b. Supervises and coordinates the work, to insure 
that the terrain is used to the best advantage. 

c. Inspects camouflage and concealment, including 
individual protective measures. 

d. Issues orders for the construction of obstacles. 

e. Issues orders on construction of dummy works. 

/. Makes plans for the use of mines, booby traps, 
and other antitank and antipersonnel installations 
along all approaches in accordance with plans of 
higher headquarters. 


a. Distribution. In the organization of the 
ground, the battalion commander keeps in mind that 
the elements are distributed so that their fire will — 

( 1 ) Take the enemy under fire when he enters the 
zone of surveillance of the combat outpost. 


(2) Hold the enemy under an increasingly heavy 
volume of fire as he approaches the battle position. 

(3) Stop the enemy assault by a dense band of 
closely coordinated fires immediately in front of the 
batde position. 

(4) Limit penetration of the position by prepared 
interior fires. 

(5) Eject the enemy from the position by a com- 
bination of prearranged fires and counterattack should 
he succeed in a penetration. 

b. The fire plan provides for — 

( 1 ) Opening of fires. 

(2) Rates of fire. 

(3) Mutual support of adjacent units. 

(4) Fires to be delivered under conditions of re- 
duced visibility. 

(5) Signals for close defensive fires. 

(6) Employment of armament dismounted from 

c. Supporting fires. The fire plan includes the 
supporting of the combat outpost by mortar and 
assault gun fire, with observers at the combat outpost 
or other observation posts. The withdrawal of the 
outpost is covered by supporting fires. 

d. Main line of resistance fires. Fires from 
the main line of resistance usually are withheld until 
the enemy has approached within 500 yards of the 
position. Effort is made to conceal the location of 
the main line of resistance until fire is opened with 
surprise effect. 

e. Close fires. Plans are made to provide for 
the release of close defensive fires in front of any 
threatened locality. Each front line company is au- 
thorized to call for barrage fire. 

63. ORDERS. 

Orders -given by the battalion commander to subordi- 
nates include — 


a. Information of the enemy and friendly troops. 
Information of friendly troops includes mission, flank 
units, covering forces, supporting artillery, support- 
ing tanks, and antitank weapons. 

b. General plan of defense, battalion boundaries, 
general trace of the main line of resistance, and dis- 
tribution of elements of the battalion. 

c. Missions of rifle companies and attached and 
organic supporting units. 

d. Location, strength and mission of reserves. 

e. Organization of the ground, including priorities. 
/. Composition, location, and mission of the com- 
bat outpost; 

g. Location of the battalion ammunition distribut- 
ing point, battalion aid station, disposition of battalion 
combat trains and company vehicles. 

h. Location of battalion command post, observa- 
tion post, and alternate command and observation 
posts and means of signal communication. 


a. Local security. Local security is the respon- 
sibility of each unit. ( For details on security see chap- 
ter 5.) 

b. Combat outpost. The battalion establishes a 
combat outpost when the general outpost is at consid- 
erable distance from the main line of resistance or 
when the battle is interrupted at nightfall. (For de- 
tails on a combat outpost see FM 100-5.) 

c. Adjacent support. Adjacent organizations 
provide mutual support and security by liaison, plan 
of fires, and observation. The battalion commander 
takes steps necessary to provide for the mutual support 
with adjacent troops, coordinating fire plans, and pro- 
viding assistance in the event of a penetration. 



a. General. The success of the defense depends 
upon the holding of its assigned area by each element, 
down to and including the rifle squad. The battalion 
commander insures that all avenues of hostile approach 
are covered. 

b. Conduct of fire. The integrity of the defense 
area is maintained by a combination of fire, hand-to- 
hand combat, and counterattack. Fires are released 
according to the battalion fire plan. The attacker is 
held under an increasing volume of fire as he ap- 
proaches the position. When he closes with the posi- 
tion, automatic weapons are switched to their final 
protective lines, close defensive artillery and mortar fire 
is laid down, and the hostile assault is met by rifle fire, 
fire of supporting weapons, grenades, and hand-to- 
hand combat. 

c. Counterattacks. (1) Should the enemy suc- 
ceed in penetrating the battalion defense area, the bat- 
talion first seeks through fire to cause his immediate 
destruction or withdrawal. If fire alone is not suc- 
cessful, decision must be made whether to counter- 
attack, to have the reserve hold its prepared position to 
block the penetration, or use a combination of these 
actions. The mission of the counterattack is to reestab- 
lish the main line of resistance. It is usually directed 
against the shoulder of the enemy penetration. (See 
fig. 25.) Unless adequately supported by tanks, a 
counterattack is withheld so long as enemy armored 
elements dominate the area in which the counterattack 
is to be made. 

(2) The battalion reserve does not counterattack 
against an objective outside the battalion defense area 
except on order of higher headquarters. However, 
the route to the location from which the counterattack 
is to be made may cross into an adjacent battalion area 
if such movement has been coordinated with the com- 


mander of the area. When the enemy is ejected from 
the battalion defense area, he is not pursued beyond 
close supporting distance of the main line of resistance, 
but is engaged thereafter by fire alone. The counter- 
attack is supported by all available supporting weapons. 
Use of tanks is covered in FM 17—36. The battalion 
order,., lists the possible penetrations against which 
counterattacks are to be planned, and states the pri- 
ority in which plans will be prepared. The reserve 
company commander prepares details of the plans 
and submits them to the battalion commander for 
approval and for coordination of fires. 

( 3 ) When the reserve counterattacks, a new reserve 
is constituted from whatever troops are available. The 
combat command is notified immediately when the 
decision to commit the reserve has been made. 

(4) Penetrations in adjacent areas are opposed 
by committing all or part of the reserve to the threat- 
ened flank to prevent widening of the penetration and 
the envelopment of the battalion flank. 

d. Infiltrations. Infiltration is guarded against 
by the posting of observers within each subordinate 
defense area to keep the ground between defense 
areas under constant surveillance. Areas that cannot 
be observed are searched by patrols. 


a. Missions. The armored infantry battalion in 
reserve usually is employed initially, in whole or in 
part, on security missions, to assist the front-line bat- 
talions in the organizations of their defense areas or 
in construction tasks. Upon completion of the initial 
tasks, the reserve battalion is used to deepen the de- 
fense, block penetrations from the flanks, and provide 
all-around defense. 

b. Supporting weapons. Supporting weapons of 
the battalion often are assigned missions of assisting 


front-line battalions by overhead fire. These weapons, 
protected by small rifle detachments, usually are 
located in the rear areas of the front-line battalions. 

c. Area. The area of the battalion in reserve is 
set up for all-around defense, plans being coordinated 
with adjacent reserve organizations. 

d. Counterattack. ( 1 ) Counterattack plans 
generally are given by higher headquarters. The 
battalion commander coordinates with supporting 
units. Counterattack plans include — 

Figure 25. Counterattack swiftly, hitting the shoulder of the 

(a) Route to the line of departure. 

(b) Line of departure. 

( c ) Formations. 

(d) Direction. 

(e) Objective. 

(/) Coordination with tanks. 


(g) Initial missions of support weapons, together 
with time or signal to lift fires, and subsequent fire 

(2) Generally the counterattack is not directed 
against an objective outside the combat command 
area. If the route to the location from which the 
counterattack is to be made crosses into the sector of 
an adjacent unit, the movement is coordinated with 
that unit. 

(3 ) Each counterattack is planned to make full use 
of all available fire power to regain a lost portion of 
the main line of resistance. It is generally directed 
against the shoulder of the penetration and little or 
no reserve is held out. 


a. Daylight withdrawal. A front-line battalion 
executes a daylight withdrawal by withdrawing each 
echelon under the protection of the next organiza- 
tion to its rear. Front-line companies withdraw under 
protection of the reserve company and the reserve 
company withdraws under the protection of the re- 
serve battalion, or its covering force. (See fig. 26.) 
If the combat command or higher command has a 
reserve farther to the rear, the reserve battalion is 
withdrawn under the latter's protection. If not, the 
reserve fights a delaying action. Holding forces are 
left in place in each instance, withdrawing when the 
following wave takes up the defense. When tanks are 
available they may make a limited objective attack 
to disorganize the enemy and thus assist infantry in 
withdrawal. If terrain is unsuitable for a tank attack, 
they may assist withdrawal by fire. (See FM 17-36. ) 

b. .Night withdrawal. A front-line battalion 
executes a night withdrawal by the simultaneous with- 
drawal of all elements of the battalion, less the cover- 
ing detachments. Secrecy is essential in the night 

615398° — 44 7 


withdrawal and plans are made to have the with- 
drawing troops out of range of light artillery before 
daybreak. Orders are issued in ample time to allow 
subordinate leaders to complete plans during daylight 
and an assembly area is designated. The covering 
detachment consists of about one-third of the troops, 
including supporting weapons. 

c. The covering detachment withdraws at a speci- 
fied time, joining troops previously withdrawn or tak- 
ing up a position of outpost, covering the rear position, 
by daylight. 


Figure 26. Daylight withdrawal. 


a. Purpose. The purpose of delaying action is to 
gain time while avoiding decisive action. The delay 
is accomplished by offensive action, by defensive action 
in one position, by defensive action in successive posi- 
tions, or a combination of these methods. 


( 1 ) When operating as a part of a larger force, 
the battalion is assigned a sector on the initial delaying 
position and a zone or route of withdrawal. 

(2) Whenever practicable, the line of resistance 
is located near a topographical crest to facilitate long 
range fire and provide immediate defilade for with- 
drawal to the next delaying position. 

b. Tanks can be used to aid the infantry in delaying 
action by direct fire from hull defilade, by indirect fire 
in assisting the artillery, by a quick direct thrust into 
the advancing enemy, or by a surprise flank attack 
across the routes by which such a force is advancing. 
Such attacks must be strongly supported by the artil- 
lery and by the battalion supporting weapons. (See 
FM 17-32 and 17-36.) 

c. Conduct of fire. All supporting weapons are 
placed well forward initially, in order to take the enemy 
under fire as early as possible. Fire is opened at long 
ranges and the withdrawal is started prior to the be- 
ginning of the assault by the enemy. The supporting 
weapons are withdrawn in ample time to insure their 
safety, riflemen covering their withdrawal. The 
enemy is harassed by all possible fire. Complete with- 
drawal is coordinated with adjacent units, either by 
signal or by withdrawing at a specified time. 

d. Reserve. The battalion reserve constitutes the 
covering detachment and is placed in position to facili- 
tate its employment for flank protection and to assist 
in extricating forward units. When the battalion 
withdrawal is successfully under way, the reserve be- 
comes the rear guard. 

e. One position. The proximity of the enemy 
may require delay in one position for a predetermined 
length of time. The line of resistance is selected, the 
position is organized, and the action is conducted as 
in defense. 


69. RELIEF. 

a. Where a stabilized situation develops or defense 
continues for a prolonged period, the necessity for con- 
servation of the fighting power of the troops requires 
provisions for the relief of battalions in the line. 

b. Preliminary arrangements for the relief include 
a detailed reconnaissance of the sector by officers of the 
relieving unit. The relieving officers familiarize them- 
selves with the dispositions and defensive arrangements 
of the outgoing units and the known hostile disposi- 
tions. Arrangements are made for the transfer of 
supplies and special equipment to be left by the 
relieved unit. 

c. The relief is carried out under cover of darkness 
to preserve secrecy, and guides from the outgoing bat- 
talion meet each element down to and including 
the platoon, of the incoming battalion and conduct it 
to its position. 

d. The commander of the outgoing battalion is 
responsible for the defense of the sector until the relief 
is completed. 

e. Units being relieved remain in position until the 
relieving unit moves in and takes over. 


For a more complete discussion of defensive operations 
and retrograde movements, see FM 7-20. 





a. General. The armored infantry battalion nor- 
mally is employed with other armored units in landings 
on a hostile shore. The armored division usually lands 
as a unit on beaches or in ports which have been secured 
by preceding assault infantry. However, exceptionally 
it may be used as assault troops for amphibious 

b. Role. The battalion may be assigned one of the 
following tasks in an amphibious operation : 

( 1 ) To establish a beachhead. The battalion is 
used to establish a beachhead only in an emergency. 
When used in this manner, it operates as an assault 
force landing without vehicles. The vehicles are 
brought in later, upon orders from higher headquarters. 

(2) To expand a beachhead. When employed in 
this manner, the battalion normally is employed with 
other armored units. The vehicles accompany the 
troops, in order to retain the mobility and firepower 
of the battalion. The mission of the battalion is to 
assist other armored units in pushing the enemy inland 
in order to secure a better foothold. 

(3) To drive inland, separately or as a part of a 
task force, to seize a strategic installation or tactically 
important terrain feature. When used in this man- 
ner, the battalion is landed with vehicles. Missions 
include the capture of definite objectives, such as air- 
ports, communication centers, bridges, prominent 
terrain features, and towns or villages. 


c. Landing craft. Types of landing craft used 
by the battalion are given in orders from higher head- 
quarters. Types used are governed by — 

Proposed employment of the battalion. 
Availability of landing craft. 
Character of the landing beach. 

( 1 ) Landing craft normally used by troops without 
vehicles include landing craft, infantry (LCI) ; land- 
ing craft, personnel (ramp) (LCP(R)); landing 
craft, vehicle personnel (LCVP) ; and landing, vehicle 
track (LVT). 

(2) Landing craft used to transport vehicles nor- 
mally are large vessels, such as landing craft, tank 
(LCT) ; landing ship, tank (LST) ; combat loaded 
transport for a landing team (APA), and cargo., 
transport (AKA). 

d. Prior to embarkation. Special duties of the 
battalion commander prior to embarkation include — 

( 1 ) Training. Special training for the amphibious 
operation is directed towards placing men and ma- 
teriel on the hostile shore completely organized and 
equipped, and with the fewest possible casualties. 
Unit commanders are oriented in the type of landing, 
and detailed drills and rehearsals of each phase are 
conducted. This training is conducted in a realistic 
manner and under conditions similar to the actual 
contemplated landing. Teamwork is stressed and 
each individual is given a definite task. In addition 
to this special training, officers and men are physically 
hardened by planned conditioning exercises. 

(2) Waterproofing of vehicles. All vehicles to be 
landed from ship to beach are completely waterproofed 
prior to embarkation. Waterproofing kits for each 
type vehicle, with instructions for application, are 
issued. Ordnance personnel generally is available for 
the supervision of final phases of this work. 


(3) Loading of ships. Ships are loaded so that 
the loss of any one vessel does not result in the loss of 
any complete combat element of the battalion. An at- 
tempt is made to load each ship with a small task team 
capable of independent action. The mortar, assault 
gun, machine gun, and antitank gun platoons are dis- 
tributed on the various ships. Plans are made for 
immediate reorganization upon landing. 

e. Aboard ship. Tasks aboard ship depend upon 
the number of vessels used by the battalion, available 
space on each ship, and the nearness of possible enemy 
observation, aircraft, ships, and submarines. Orders 
on limitations of activities are given by higher head- 
quarters. Duties aboard ship include — 

( 1 ) Maintenance. Weapons and personal equip- 
ment are checked carefully and are kept in the best 
practicable condition. Vehicles are checked and 
maintenance is continuous. 

(2) Instructing. Details of the operation, pre- 
viously withheld for security, are released to individ- 
uals. Maps, photographs, sand tables, and all avail- 
able training aids are used to orient each individual 
in his task, the mission of his unit, and contemplated 
action of adjacent units. Instruction is given, if time 
permits, in — 

{a) Interrogation of prisoners. 

(b) Recognition of hostile aircraft and armored 

(c) Treatment of civilian personnel. 

(d) Native customs and habits. 

(e) Types of vegetation, diseases, and harmful rep- 
tiles and insects. 

(3) Physical training. Physical training and con- 
ditioning must be continued, within limits of the space 
available for training. 

/. Debarkation. ( 1 ) Upon reaching a destina- 
tion, ships are unloaded according to schedule. Per- 
sonnel and vehicles are moved to prearranged assem- 


bly areas. A battalion assembly area is designated 
for the dewaterproofing of vehicles and reorganization 
of tactical units. This is done under the supervision 
of the service company commander or the battalion 
motor officer. After the dewaterproofing in the bat- 
talion assembly area, the vehicles are dispatched to 
their respective organizations by tactical units under 
the supervision of the company motor officer. Guides 
are used to lead the vehicles to their units. 

(2) When crews are separated from their vehicles 
the battalion commander establishes a driver's pool on 
the beach to move driverless vehicles to the battalion 
assembly area. 

(3) The battalion moves forward aggressively to 
carry out its assigned mission after landing and re- 
organization has been effected. 


a. Mission. An armored infantry battalion is 
used in a river crossing in conjunction with other 
forces or it may be used alone. The missions assigned 
to the battalion may be — 

( 1 ) To assist in establishing a bridgehead. 

( 2 ) To expand a bridgehead. 

(3) To seize a strategic installation or tactically 
important terrain feature. 

b. Attack orders. Attack orders from higher 
headquarters usually include the following: 

( 1 ) Information of the enemy and terrain within 
the crossing area. 

(2) Mission, hour of crossing, zone of action, and 

(3) Plan for employment of supporting troops. 

(4) Available engineer equipment and guides. 

(5) Communication. 

c. Objectives. The objective of the first assault- 
ing troops usually is a terrain feature the capture of 


which prevents hostile direct small-arms fire on the 
crossing points. Upon gaining this objective the 
attack is conducted in the normal manner. 

d. Plans. Plans for the crossing include — 

(1) Coordination with supporting and adjacent 

(2) Width and formation of crossing, with allot- 
ment of assault boats and other means of crossing to 

(3) Missions, firing position areas, targets, and 
principal directions of fire for supporting weapons 
on friendly side, their time of crossing, and missions 
on the hostile shore after crossing. 

e. Battalion order. The battalion commander, 
after a personnel reconnaissance, gives as much of the 
following information as possible in his order: 

( 1 ) Composition and distribution of hostile forces. 

(2) Terrain feature suitable for company objec- 

(3) Subordinate unit assembly areas on the hostile 

(4) Road nets, type of terrain, and other features 
of the hostile bank. 

(5) Position areas of supporting weapons. 

(6) Width, depth, and current of river, and type 
and condition of river banks. 

( 7 ) Final assembly areas on friendly side of river 
and routes to same. 

(8) Communication. 


a. Close fires. When the river is an effective 
barrier and terrain is suitable for the development of 
close fires the main line of resistance is placed on the 
near bank of the river, and the defense is organized 
as in any other comparable terrain. 

b. Wooded terrain. Wooded terrain along the 
banks of the river is utilized to conceal automatic 


weapons and riflemen, with bands of fire placed along 
the river front. If the woods are back from the river 
yet within range of the river, the main line of resistance 
is moved back to the woods, with combat outposts 
along the river banks. 

c. Dispositions. The battalion frontage normally 
is divided between two rifle companies, each of which 
covers its front with a series of outguards and holds 
the bulk of its troops in a mobile concealed assembly 
area. The reserve company also is held mobile. Sup- 
porting weapons are distributed in the normal manner 
conforming to the terrain. 

d. Patrols. Patrols, with radio communication, 
operate at all times on the enemy side of the river, 
sending back all available information on the hostile 
forces and their direction of attack. 


a. Advances. Advances in woods usually are on 
foot, unless trails along the axis of advance are avail- 
able and have been cleared of the enemy. The bat- 
talion is advanced with two companies abreast and one 
in reserve or in column of companies, according to the 
width of the battalion front. 

b. Formations Formations generally are squads 
column until resistance is met, then the squads deploy. 
Patrols are used for liaison and reconnaissance of 
areas between elements. Patrols are sent a short dis- 
tance ahead of the main body of troops in order to 
guard against surprise. All men constantly keep on 
the alert for enemy snipers. 

c. Orientation. Maps of large wooded areas 
often are inaccurate, failing to show ridge lines, 
ravines, and other terrain features. Visibility is lim- 
ited and it is necessary that advancing units be halted 
frequently to determine their exact location. This 
information is sent back to supporting artillery and 
higher headquarters, in order that supporting fires 


from the rear will be delivered in the proper place 
when needed. 

d. Communication. Communication between 
units often is difficult. Liaison and the use of field 
telephones will guard against loss of control if radios 

e. Supporting weapons. Supporting weapons 
often are attached to organizations, due to lack of 
control. If kept under battalion control, the support- 
ing weapons are held mobile, ready for instant dis- 
patching to an organization upon call. 

/. Supply. In the forward areas all supplies, am- 
munition, rations, and weapons are carried by the 
combat companies. Supplies are reduced to the mini- 
mum as they are carried by the individual soldier. 
Supply lines to the rear must be patrolled, either by 
the battalion supply section or higher headquarters. 

g. Halts at night. Halts are made early enough 
in the afternoon to allow the erection of defensive posi- 
tions to stop enemy counterattacks under cover of 
darkness. These halts are made on ridges or other 
dominating terrain features, and an all-around defense 
is set up. All men dig foxholes and time permitting, 
obstacles, such as booby traps and mined approaches, 
are constructed. 


a. Characteristics. Defense in woods is char- 
acterized by short fields of fire, and lack of control, 
observation, and communication. These weaknesses 
are overcome by — 

( 1 ) Strong line of defense by riflemen and sup- 
porting weapons squads. 

( 2 ) Closely coordinated fires. 

(3) Constant patrolling and extensive use of local 
security groups. 

(4) Preparation for rapid shifting of reserves. 

(5) Reduction of distance between units. 


b. Organization and defense of position. In 
organizing a position to be held the following salient 
points are considered:, 

( 1 ) Commanding ground is selected when possible. 

( 2 ) A perimeter of defense is set up. 

(3) Sentries are posted on the perimeter, with 
patrols working in between. 

(4) Plans are made for mines, booby traps, and 
other antipersonnel and antimechanized installations, 
in accordance with plans of higher headquarters. 

(5 ) Emplacements are dug for crew served weapons 
and fox holes for individuals. 

(6) Range cards are prepared and artillery is 

( 7 ) Machine guns and automatic weapons are sited 
down trails and other open areas. 

e. Supporting weapons. (1) Machine guns. 
Due to the limited fields of fire, there is little or no 
opportunity for long-range machine-gun fire. Ma- 
chine guns not placed in the main line of resistance 
are initially sited well forward to limit penetrations, 
and fire lanes are cleared. 

(2) Mortars. The 81 -mm mortars are placed in 
openings in the woods, or openings are cut. Every 
possible means for registering the weapon is taken. 

( 3 ) Assault guns. Assault guns usually are held in 
mobile reserve, ready at all times to move forward 
and fire through openings or prepared lanes. 

(4) Antitank guns. The antitank guns are used 
to cover roads, trails, or other likely avenues of 
approach for vehicles. 

76. COMBAT IN TOWNS. See FM 31-50. 






Section I. GENERAL 


The headquarters and headquarters company of an 
armored infantry battalion consists of a battalion 
headquarters and the battalion headquarters com- 
pany. The battalion headquarters consists of the 
battalion commander and his staff. The headquar- 
ters company consists of a company headquarters, a 
reconnaissance platoon, an assault-gun platoon, a 
mortar platoon and a heavy machine-gun platoon. 


The battalion headquarters is composed of the bat- 
talion commander, executive officer, S-l, S-2, S-3, 
S-4, communications officer, liaison officer, and neces- 
sary enlisted personnel for the functioning of the tac- 
tical elements of battalion headquarters. For duties 
of the staff officers see FM 101-5. 


a. The company headquarters is composed of the 
headquarters section, company maintenance section, 
and administrative, mess, and supply section. The 
function of the company headquarters section is 

b. The headquarters company commander is re- 
sponsible for the administration, security, individual 


and tactical training of headquarters and headquarters 
company. Technicians receive their technical train- 
ing under appropriate staff officers. In combat the 
headquarters company commander controls the ac- 
tions of the machine gun, mortar, and assault gun 
platoons when they operate directly under battalion 
control. He makes recommendations to the battalion 
commander for the employment.of these platoons. He 
remains in close contact with the battalion commander 
either in person, by radio, telephone, or messenger. 
Normally he establishes his headquarters adjacent to 
the battalion command post. When the headquarters 
company commander is absent from the command post 
his duties as headquarters commandant are assumed 
by a staff officer. 



a. The principal mission of the reconnaissance pla- 
toon is to obtain information required by higher head- 
quarters and get it to the interested party in time to be 
of use. The platoon avoids engagements with the 
enemy, but must be prepared to act aggressively if the 
need arises. 

b. The platoon normally performs the following 
types of reconnaissance: 

( 1 ) Zone reconnaissance. This type is performed 
in front of an advancing force. Aggressive force is 
used by the platoon when needed. 

(2) Area reconnaissance. This type of recon- 
naissance is designed to search an area for definite 
information. This reconnaissance is more detailed 
than the zone reconnaissance. 

c. The platoon is prepared to perform reconnais- 
sance either over roads and trails or cross-country. 
Dismounted scouts are used when necessary. 


Figure 27. The reconnaissance platoon is used to observe to the 
front or flanks when the battalion is in the final assembly area 
or attack position. 


d. The employment and training of the recon- 
naissance platoon receives close supervision of the 
battalion commander. The platoon leader is respon- 
sible for the performance of its assigned battalion mis- 
sions. He keeps in contact with the battalion com- 
mander and S-2 at all times during action in order 
to keep battalion headquarters advised on the situa- 
tion and to perform any missions without delay. In- 
formation of vital importance concerning terrain, 
action of the enemy, strength of the enemy, action of 
adjacent friendly troops, or any other vital informa- 
tion is sent to battalion headquarters immediately. 

e. The platoon may be reinforced by organic or 
attached units when the need arises. 


a. When the battalion is marching, the reconnais- 
sance platoon is used in front of the battalion, recon- 
noitering the march route. 

b. All avenues of approach to the line of march — 
roads or trails — are reconnoitered by the platoon prior 
to the arrival of the main body of the marching unit. 

c. Members of the reconnaissance platoon are used 
for road guides. When the demand exceeds the num- 
ber of guides available, additional ones are secured 
from rifle companies. They are under the control of 
the reconnaissance platoon leader. 

d. When moving cross-country, the reconnaissance 
platoon covers a front 1 to 2 miles on each side of 
the battalion axis of advance. 

e. Speed of reconnaissance is based on mission of 
the battalion, width of front, time required for infor- 
mation, rate of advance of main body, nature of ter- 
rain being traversed, and composition and strength of 
the enemy. 

/. The bivouac area is thoroughly reconnoitered 
prior to the arrival of the battalion. Guides are posted 


6153!»8°— 44 8 


and the battalion is led into the covered area as quickly 
as possible. Adjacent areas are investigated imme- 
diately, with special emphasis on nearby covered areas 
and likely approaches for hostile mechanized forces. 

g. During the march, timely reports on the route, 
condition of the roads or terrain, strength of bridges 
and presence of enemy are sent to the battalion 


a. Prior to contact in the offensive the reconnais- 
sance platoon is sent out for a detailed reconnaissance 
of the zone of advance. Information is sought on — 

( 1 ) Size and composition of hostile forces. 

(2) Disposition and movement of enemy. 

(3) Location of enemy's flanks. 

(4) Depth of disposition. 

(5) Critical points or areas likely to be held by 
the enemy. 

(6) Areas likely to be swept by hostile flat trajec- 
tory fire. 

( 7 ) The location, extent, and type of obstacles, nat- 
ural and constructed. 

(8) Location, nature, and extent of favorable av- 
enues of approach to the hostile position. 

( 9 ) The location of any -friendly units through 
which the battalion is to pass. 

(10) Location of likely avenues for hostile mech- 
anized attack. 

b. When the main body of the battalion is com- 
mitted to action, the reconnaissance platoon establishes 
observation posts, performs continuous battle recon- 
naissance under direction of the battalion commander, 
maintains liaison between adjacent units, or supple- 
ments flanks security organizations. 



The reconnaissance of the area to be defended is as 
detailed as time and conditions permit. The recon- 
naissance includes — . 

a. Locations for installations, weapons, and mine 

b. Likely avenues of approach for hostile dismounted 
and mechanized forces. 

c. Localities to be occupied by security forces in 
order to screen the position from close hostile ob- 

Figure 30. During combat the reconnaissance platoon may be 
used to maintain liaison with a flank unit. 

d. Natural obstacles in the foreground or terrain 
features that can be converted readily into obstacles. 

e. Demolitions to be executed. 

/. Locations to be organized by the battalion reserve. 
g. Suitable locations for observation posts, aid sta- 
tions, command post, and alternate command post. 



When the enemy attacks, the reconnaissance platoon 
may be used for — 

a. Reconnaissance. To gain information of at- 
tacking force. 

b. Counterreconnaissance. To prevent hostile 
ground reconnaissance from locating, identifying, and 
reporting friendly movements. 

c. Defense. To hold an area or position until 
relieved by higher authority. 

d. Delaying action. To delay and force hostile 
advancing elements to deploy, thus slowing down their 
rate of advance. 

e. Flank security. To conduct reconnaissance 
to the flanks and rear of a unit operating on an inde- 
pendent mission to furnish warning of any enemy. 



a. The assault-gun platoon furnishes close support 
fire for the battalion, using either direct or indirect 
fire. The platoon is usually employed as a complete 
platoon under the direction of the battalion com- 

b. The platoon is composed of a platoon head- 
quarters section, three gun sections, and an ammuni- 
tion section. 


a. Successful employment of the platoon depends 
upon its control by the battalion commander and 
platoon leader. The headquarters and gun section 
are equipped with radios, facilitating control. 

b. Communication between the battalion com- 
mander and the platoon leader is by radio, wire, and 


messenger. Instant communication is necessary for 
the successful employment of the platoon. Communi- 
cation between the platoon leader and gun sections 
is by radio, wire, messenger, and visual signals. 


For employment and other details see FM 17—25. 



a. The 81 -mm mortar platoon is used to support 
the rifle companies of the battalion under the direc- 
tion of the battalion commander. Due to the high 
trajectory of the mortar, the platoon is useful in reduc- 
ing point targets and neutralizing limited area targets 
inaccessible to the flat trajectory weapons. 

b. The platoon is composed of a platoon head- 
quarters section and three mortar squads. 


a. Control of the platoon and the prompt carry- 
ing out of its missions are responsibilities of the platoon 

b. The battalion commander assigns the platoon 
areas to be covered or targets to be engaged in his 
battalion order. Missions may be progressive as the 
situation develops or changed to meet the situation by 
fragmentary orders. 

c. Communication between the battalion head- 
quarters and the platoon is by radio, wire, and mes- 
sengers. Intraplatoon communication is by radio, 
visual signals, wire, and messengers. 


For employment and other details of the platoon see 
FM 17-27. 




a. The machine gun platoon is employed by the 
battalion commander to give the rifle companies addi- 
tional fire power. The platoon may be used to cover 
a definite sector. 

b. Composition. The platoon is composed of a 
platoon headquarters section and two gun sections of 
two squads each. Each squad is equipped with a 
caliber .30 machine gun as the basic weapon. Each 
section is transported by a carrier, half-track. 

c. All members of the platoon are trained in indi- 
rect firing. Indirect firing may be employed when 


a. Control. Control of the platoon and the carry- 
ing out of battalion orders are functions of the platoon 
leader, who supervises fire of the guns at all times 
when employed as battalion weapon. Squads or sec- 
tions may be attached to other units, control then 
passing to the commander thereof. 

b. Communication. The platoon leader com- 
municates with higher headquarters by radio or mes- 
senger. In order to successfully carry out the platoon 
mission, he keeps in constant touch with battalion 
headquarters. Communication within the platoon 
is by runner, visual signals, or orally. 


The platoon has four caliber .30 water-cooled machine 
guns for its primary weapons. Each member is armed 
with an individual weapon. Each section has a rocket 
launcher for antimechanized defense and a caliber .50 
machine gun is located in the command half-track for 
antiaircraft defense. 



The primary missions of the machine gun platoon 
are — 

a. To provide close fire support for the rifle 

b. To protect exposed flanks. 

c. To protect rear installations, command posts, and 
observation posts. 

d. To support by overhead fire. 


a. The position areas of machine gun platoons — 

( 1 ) Provide gun positions from which fire can be 
placed on all assigned targets or any targets appearing 
in assigned sectors of fire. 

(2) Provide observation from which fire and the 
advance or withdrawal of friendly troops can be 

(3) If possible, provide gun positions permitting 
overhead and flanking fire. If overhead fire is not 
possible, gaps between friendly troops are utilized. 

b. Gun positions. Gun positions are chosen for — 

( 1 ) Fields of fire. Clear field of grazing fire is 
sought and full advantage is taken of cross and flanking 

(2) Mutual support. The guns are placed in 
width and depth. Each gun should be able to protect 
the front and flanks of adjacent guns. 

c. Emplacements. Emplacements are dug to 
conceal and protect the guns and their crews from 
enemy observation and fire. 


a. Fields of fire of the platoon cover the most likely 
avenues of enemy approach. The platoon leader in 
laying out the sectors of fire for each gun, coordinates 
with company commanders of supported rifle com- 





panies, securing from them the disposition of friendly 
troops. The field of fire for each gun overlaps those 
of adjacent troops. All dead spaces are reported to 
the battalion commander in order that they can be 
covered by other weapons. 

b. If time permits, the area in front or to the flanks 
of each gun is cleared to afford an unobstructed field 
of fire. Care is taken not to disclose the position by 


Fire control is the responsibility of the platoon leader. 
Control is achieved by communication, fire discipline, 
and observation during batde. Care is taken that 
ammunition is not wasted on invulnerable targets and 
targets already neutralized. 


a. Preliminary plans. Prior to the attack, while 
in the assembly area or during the approach march, 
the platoon leader makes a terrain reconnaissance. 
Plans are made for the best possible location of the 
guns for support of the rifle company or companies 
and details of the fire plan are given to all members 
of the platoon. Fire orders include — 

( 1 ) Pertinent information of the enemy and 
friendly troops. 

(2) Mission of the platoon. 

( 3 ) Initial position area and fire mission of each 
section or separate gun. 

(4) Location of alternate and supplementary po- 
sition areas and the signals for occupying them. 

(5) Security measures. 

(6) Restrictions on the opening and conduct of 
fire and instructions concerning ammunition expendi- 
tures and supply are included. 

( 7 ) Location of aid station, observation posts, 
and additional supplies. 


b. Fires during attack. The platoon is em- 
ployed as a fire unit whenever possible, in order to 
gain surprise and to mass its fire. Primary targets, 
unless otherwise designated, are organized defense 
areas directly opposing the advance of attacking rifle 

c. Flanking and long range fires. Whenever 
the progress of the supported riflemen is greater than 
that of adjacent troops, the platoon generally is used 
to fire to the flank, assisting the retarded organiza- 
tions and protecting its own organization from enemy 
flank fire. If friendly troops mask primary targets 
in their advance, targets in rear of the hostile forward 
positions are taken under fire. 


The normal method of advancing the platoon is by 
bounds by section. At times the platoon may be 
ordered to move forward as a unit, with friendly 
troops taking over missions of the platoon and cover- 
ing its advance. Vehicles are used in displacing if 

101. ASSAULT. 

During the assault, the platoon takes advantage of 
gaps between rifle organizations to deliver fire on 
enemy strong points. When the leading rifle units 
capture a position and halt to reorganize, the machine 
gun platoon is particularly alert for hostile counter- 
attacks. The machine guns are displaced forward as 
soon as it is evident that the. enemy position will be 
captured. Once on the position, the guns are 
emplaced prompdy. 


Complete reorganization of the platoon is postponed 
until the battalion objective is reached. Partial re- 
organization is carried out during lulls in fighting. 


103. PURSUIT. 

In the pursuit the platoon is prepared to go into ac- 
tion without delay. Targets are rear elements of the 
retreating enemy and roads or defiles through which 
the enemy must retire. 


In the front line battalion on defense, the machine 
gun platoon is employed to cover the main line of 

105. FIRE ORDER. See FM 23-55. 


a. Detailed fire plans are worked out by the platoon 
leader, to cover all probable approaches to the area. 
Alternate and supplementary positions are prepared, 
with range cards for each. Each gun is given a sector 
of fire and plans are made in accordance with the 
battalion fire plan. The platoon leader submits his 
plans to the company commander, showing disposi- 
tion, sector of fire, and final protective line for each 
gun. All dead spaces to be covered by other weapons 
also are' reported. Sectors of fire overlap and fire is 
coordinated with adjoining organizations for mutual 

b. Final protective line. Each gun crew com- 
putes all necessary data on the final protective line as 
soon as possible, recording it on the fire data card. 
The rate of fire on the final protective line is con- 
trolled by the platoon leader. 


Close-in rifle protection to prevent the rushing or out- 
flanking of the machine gun is essential. Riflemen 
are used for local security. The guns are placed, if 
possible, for mutual protection. Ammunition bearers 


not employed in maintaining the supply of ammuni- 
tion are used for close protection. 


Machine guns in the main line of resistance hold their 
fire until the main hostile attack is launched. Scouts 
preceding the main attack are not fired upon by ma- 
chine guns; riflemen take care of these targets. Gen- 
erally fire is withheld until the enemy approaches 
within about 500 yards of the position. Gunners lay 
on final protective lines on order or signal and fire at 
the rate prescribed by the platoon leader. 


The machine guns habitually are laid on their final 
protective lines at night or during smoke or heavy fog. 


Machine gun platoons in reserve battalions initially 
may be assigned one of the following missions: 

a. Long-range fire. The primary mission of 
these guns in defense is fire support delivered in front 
of the main line of resistance. 

b. Flank protection. 

c. Support the counterattack. 


Delaying action. Machine gun platoons to be with- 
drawn with rifle companies usually are attached to 
those companies. Positions affording long-range fields 
of fire and covered routes of withdrawal are essential. 
The machine guns open fire at maximum effective 
range, withdrawing prior to close combat. 

112. MARCHES. 

In route marches the machine gun platoon marches 
near the head of the column in order to protect the 


battalion from a surprise attack. Part of the platoon 
often is attached to a security force. Sections of the 
platoon may be attached to an advanced guard or 
flank guard to give the security forces added fire 
power. When attached, the section functions under 
the command of the unit to which attached. 


In bivouac the platoon or some of its elements may 
be attached to the supports of the bivouac outpost. 
If not used in this manner, the guns are sited on the 
outer perimeter of defense. 



Section I. GENERAL 

114. GENERAL. 

a. The service company is the service and adminis- 
trative company of the armored infantry battalion, 
performing the following general functions: 

(1) Furnishes enlisted personnel for battalion ad- 
ministrative headquarters, including the personnel and 
administrative section. 

(2) Receives and distributes all supplies and re- 

(3) Performs second-echelon motor maintenance. 

(4) Furnishes supply and transportation personnel. 

b. In combat, the service company establishes, op- 
erates, and controls — 

(1) Battalion distributing points for ammunition, 
rations, water, fuel and lubricants, and engineer and 
other supplies. 

(2) The battalion trains bivouac, usually contain- 
ing the battalion supply officer's section, company 
(bivouac) headquarters, transportation platoon, main- 
tenance platoon, and kitchen trucks. Mess and sup- 
ply personnel and kitchens of all companies remain in 
the trains bivouac when not required in the forward 


a. The service company consists of a company 
headquarters and administrative section, a battalion 

615.-198° — 44 9 


administrative and personnel section, a battalion sup- 
ply and transportation platoon, and a battalion main- 
tenance platoon. 

b. The service company commander is, in addition 
to his other duties, trains commander and assistant 
supply officer. He controls the trains in marches, sets 
up the trains bivouac area, and is responsible for fur- 
nishing necessary transportation for supplies. 

c. The company headquarters section is composed 
of the company commander and enlisted men neces- 
sary for company administration, mess, supply, and 

d. The battalion administrative and personnel sec- 
tion is composed of the personnel officer and essential 
enlisted men. In combat, company clerks, who ha- 
bitually work in the personnel section, are attached to 
the section. The section usually is attached to divi- 
sional administrative units, remaining in the rear 

e. The supply and transportation platoon is com- 
posed of the platoon leader, truck and other vehicle 
drivers, and the necessary clerks for supply and trans- 

/. The maintenance section is composed of the bat- 
talion maintenance officer and mechanics and clerks 
necessary for battalion maintenance of vehicles. 

116. MARCHES. 

Normally, in marches, the trains of the battalion are 
divided into combat and field trains. This division 
is flexible, but for normal operations is considered as 
follows : 

a. Combat trains (essential for the immediate 

( 1 ) Fuel and lubricants. 

(2) Ammunition. 

(3) Company maintenance. 


(4) Battalion maintenance. 

(5) Medical. 

b. Field trains (not essential for immediate mission) . 

( 1 ) Unit personnel section. 

(2) Kitchen, ration, and water trucks. 

(3) Excess fuel and lubricants, and ammunition 


a. The service company commander is responsible 
for the administrative functioning and security of the 
service company and trains bivouac. 

b. Immediately upon arrival in a bivouac area, 
whether with other troops or operating on a separate 
mission, the service company commander — 

( 1 ) Provides for local security. 

( 2 ) Orders all vehicles not in use concealed. 

(3) Prepares overlay of area showing distribution 
of troops, sending this overlay to higher headquarters. 

(4) Assists the S-4 by preparing administrative 
maps, showing location of all supply points and their 
hours of opening and closing, routes and alternate 
routes to supply points and location of administrative 
command posts of higher units. 

(5) Coordinates and sets up battalion administra- 
tive, supply, transportation, and maintenance func- 
tions within the service company and trains bivouac 


a. The service company moves forward during 
the attack along the axis of maintenance and evacu- 
ation as the situation permits in order to give adequate 
logistical support to the battalion. 

b. Likewise, the company and its attached per- 
sonnel move to the rear in retrograde movements, 
leaving the area and clearing roads in ample time to 


prevent clogging routes over which combat elements 
are to pass. In retrograde movements, combat trains 
normally remain with the battalion, furnishing com- 
bat troops close support. Maintenance units are 
attached to companies for the purpose of recovering 

Section II. SUPPLY 

119. SUPPLY. 

a. General. The supply and transportation pla- 
toon has the task of obtaining supplies of all types for 
elements of the battalion and the transporting of these 
supplies to a predesignated point. The supply officer 
is responsible for the administrative details. He is 
assisted by the service company commander in obtain- 
ing and distributing the supplies. 

b. Transportation officer. The transportation 
officer is responsible for the dispatching of the trans- 
portation platoon vehicles. He controls their use and 
supervises first-echelon maintenance of platoon ve- 
hicles. Administrative records within the platoon 
are his responsibility. When necessary or desirable, 
he accompanies the vehicles to rear distribution 
points. He makes break-downs of supplies and 
habitually conducts vehicles forward to the companies 
or predesignated points. 


a. General. Supplies are furnished to the com- 
panies as requisitioned or needed. The supply of- 
ficer, both in garrison and in combat, anticipates 
the need for supplies, furnishing them to companies 
as needed. 

b. Water and rations. Water and rations 
( Class I ) are expended at a normal daily rate. The 
ration break-down for companies is made by supply 


personnel in the service company area. In combat 
the men are fed by one of the following methods : 

( 1 ) Kitchen trucks are kept with the companies, 
the men being given three hot meals daily when not 
in action. The rations are brought forward to the 
kitchens at night. This method of feeding will 
usually not be feasible for armored infantry in action. 

(2) If impossible to take the kitchen trucks for- 
ward, they are held in the train bivouac area and 
front line troops use the emergency rations carried 
in the combat vehicles. The emergency rations are 
replenished as required. This method of feeding is 
commonly used by armored infantry in combat. 

(3) Food may be sent forward at night to com- 
bat troops. When this method is used, a hot sup- 
per is prepared by the kitchen crews in the bivouac 
area. The kitchen trucks move forward at dusk, and 
the men are served a hot supper. Breakfast is pre- 
pared and served while the kitchen is forward, and 
a cold lunch is left with the men. The kitchen 
trucks return to the bivouac area before daybreak. 
If it is impossible to send the kitchen trucks forward, 
the food may be placed in containers and sent 
forward by J4-ton trucks or half-tracks. 

c. Fuel, lubricants, and ammunition. The 
supply and transportation platoon normally carries 
about one- third refill of fuel and lubricants (sufficient 
for approximately 50 miles of operation on average 
roads) and one-half refill of large caliber ammunition 
and one-quarter refill of small arms ammunition. In 
a stable position ammunition may be dumped in the 
train bivouac area or with the combat companies, 
building up a reserve. When dumped, all vehicles 
are refilled and plans are formulated for the evacua- 
tion of this extra ammunition. If the situation re- 
quires, organic loads of kitchen and water trucks 
are dumped, and the vehicles are used to haul 


d. Class ii and iv supplies. Normally items of 
Class II and IV supply are obtained by requisition 
prepared by the company and submitted to the bat- 
talion S-4. Clothing and other items such as auto- 
motive parts may be obtained by exchange. 


121. GENERAL. 

a. References. Personnel administration of the 
battalion follows the procedures prescribed by Army 
Regulations, War Department Circulars TM 12-250, 
Administration, and TM 1 2-255, Administrative Pro- 

b. Location of personnel section. The bat- 
talion personnel section, including the company clerks, 
is normally attached to the division administrative 
echelon during periods of active combat and is under 
the direct supervision of the division adjutant general. 
During periods of reorganization or extended periods 
that the battalion is not employed, the personnel sec- 
tion reverts to the battalion. 

c. Replacements. Requisitions for replacements 
are submitted by the personnel officer based on infor- 
mation received from the S-l or are submitted by the 
S-l directly to the division G—l. During initial 
phases of an engagement, authorized battalion basics 
which are not needed or cannot be transported by 
their own company are transported, billeted, and 
messed by the service company. They are sent by 
service company commander to the combat companies 
as casualty replacements when called for by the S-l 
or the combat company commanders. Replacements 
from rear echelons are sent to the companies during 
combat as follows: 

( 1 ) When large groups are needed they are brought 
by the personnel officer to the service company area. 


The personnel officer will, if possible, interview the 
replacements at the administrative echelon and pre- 
pare rosters of the men indicating their MOS num- 
bers. They are then assigned by the S-l and per- 
sonnel officer at the service company area and deliv- 
ered to the companies. 

(2) When small groups of replacements or small 
groups of hospital returnees are received they may be 
sent by the division adjutant general to the G— 1 at 
the division forward command post where they will 
be delivered to the battalion S— 1 for assignment or 

d. Stragglers. Some stragglers will be picked up 
and returned to their companies by battalion person- 
nel. Others will be picked up by military police at 
straggler points and delivered to battalion S-l or 
battalion service company commander who will ar- 
range for their immediate return to their companies. 


122. GENERAL. 

a. References. Vehicular maintenance within 
the battalion is conducted in accordance with AR 
.850-15, Motor Vehicles; TM 21-300, Driver Selec- 
tion and Training; TM 9-2810, Motor Vehicle In- 
spections and Preventive Maintenance Service; TM 
10-460, Driver's Manual; and FM 25-10, Motor 

b. Responsibility. Vehicular maintenance is a 
command function. The commanding officer of an 
operating organization is responsible for the perform- 
ance of preventive maintenance, repair work within 
the limits of unit facilities, the evacuation to higher 
echelons of all disabled vehicles not reparable within 
the organization, and the proper compilation of ad- 
ministrative records necessary for maintenance. 


c. Echelons of maintenance. Echelons of 
maintenance within the battalion include — 

( 1 ) First echelon. This work is performed by the ■ 
vehicle driver and crew, and includes preventive 
maintenance and emergency roadside repairs. Pre- 
ventive maintenance includes servicing, lubricating, 
and care of tools and equipment. 

(2) Second echelon. This work is performed by 
company and battalion maintenance personnel and 
consists of technical advice, scheduled inspections, 
minor repairs, unit replacements, supply, and battle- 
field recovery. First echelon overflow is included in 
this category. 

d. Limit of repair. The primary function of 
maintenance within the battalion is of preventive 
nature. The vehicles are repaired by first and second 
echelon in accordance with-— 

( 1 ) Nature of repairs. 

(2) Availability of authorized spare parts, tools, 
and equipment. 

(3) Capabilities of personnel. 

(4) Tactical situation. 


a. General. Preventive maintenance is a con- 
tinuous program, whether in the field or in garrison, 
performed by vehicular drivers and crews and main- 
tenance personnel under direct supervision of the 
organization commander. 

b. Scope. Preventive maintenance includes — 

( 1 ) Continuous daily maintenance service by all 
drivers and crews. 

(2) Daily and weekly service by operator or crew 
supervised by chief of section or noncommissioned 
and company officers. 

(3) Monthly (1,000-mile) or 50-hour (500-mile) 
service by organization maintenance personnel super- 
vised by an officer. 


(4) Semiannual (6,000-mile) or 100-hour (1,000- 
mile) service by unit maintenance personnel' super- 
vised by an officer. 


a. Continuous. Maintenance service by the 
driver and crew includes — 

( 1 ) Inspecting, servicing, lubricating, tightening, 
and cleaning the vehicle before operation, during 
operation, at halts, and after operation. 

( 2 ) The repair of defects within the scope of tools 
available, capabilities, and authorization. 

(3) The reporting of all defects not repairable by 
the .driver or crew. 

(4) The prevention of vehicle abuse. 

b. Driver and crew. Inspections and service by 
the driver and crew are — 

( 1 ) Before operation service. Necessary to de- 
termine if conditions have changed since previous 
after-operation service. 

(2) During operation service. Necessary to de- 
tect improper performance during operation of ve- 
hicle, with corrective steps being taken before defect 
develops into actual break-down. 

(3) At halt service. Necessary to detect and cor- 
rect deficiencies developed during operation. This 
service is performed under all tactical conditions and 
results are reported promptly to section or platoon 

(4) After-operation service. This service is per- 
formed to prepare vehicles to operate again at a 
moment's notice. The vehicle is given a thorough 
inspection and this phase is never omitted. 

(5) Weekly, or after-combat, service. This service 
supplements daily maintenance and consists of the 
after-operation service, plus special checks on desig- 
nated items and a general tightening, cleaning, and 


c. Command inspections. Inspections to deter- 
mine the presence and condition of vehicles, weapons, 
equipment, and . tools are held periodically in gar- 
rison and in the field, under the supervision of the 
battalion commander. All officers and enlisted per- 
sonnel, except the necessary overhead, attend these 
inspections. Officers check all equipment and its 
condition. The battalion commander and his staff 
spot check each company. The inspections are held 
as frequently as necessary to insure that equipment is 
present and well kept. Individual clothing and 
equipment also may be inspected at this time. 

d. Spot checks. Spot checks are made to insure 
a maximum effort in preventive maintenance. The 
battalion commander and his staff participate in these 
checks. In addition, spot check teams, composed of 
maintenance personnel, check vehicles at unexpected 
times and places. . Company commander and platoon 
leaders are required to make frequent checks on their 

125. PARKS. 

a. General. Military formations prior to daily 
operation, after daily operation, and at other desig- 
nated times, are held in garrison and in the field 
under direct supervision of responsible officers, for the 
purpose of performing preventive maintenance. 

b. Supervision. Work during the period is super- 
vised energetically by all officers. The maintenance 
officer and personnel not actively engaged in mainte- 
nance work assist and advise in the work making 
decisions on technical matters pertaining to the 

c. Spot checks. Officers and the company motor 
sergeant conduct spot checks during the period to in- 
sure a thorough inspection and servicing on the part 
of the vehicle crew. 



a. General. In combat the maintenance of ve- 
hicles is pushed vigorously, with vehicles being kept 
in the best possible state of repair and ready for in- 
stant use. Battalion maintenance crew members go 
forward, repairing all possible disabled vehicles and 
promptly recovering those calling for work in higher 

b. Service park. The service park is established 
along the axis of evacuation, where the battalion 
maintenance platoon repairs and returns to duty all 
disabled vehicles possible. The battalion motor officer 
has headquarters at the service park. He controls the 
repair of vehicles on the battlefield, the recovery of 
vehicles not repairable on the battlefield, and the 
turning over to higher echelon the overflow and re- 
pair jobs beyond the scope of second-echelon mainte- 
nance. The initial service park usually is located near 
the service company and trains bivouac area, moving 
forward to succeeding predesignated areas in order to 
keep up with the advance. Battalion and company 
recovery units bring the disabled vehicles to or near 
the service park if time permits. If not, they move 
them to a concealed position near the axis of evacua- 
tion or a defiladed position on the battlefield, termed 
a vehicle collecting point, notifying the battalion motor 
officer of their location. If a considerable advance 
has been made, recovery parties may haul disabled 
vehicles only as far as a predesignated point where 
the battalion maintenance platoon soon establishes a 
new service park. As the work in the old park nears 
completion the maintenance platoon moves to the new 
service park, leaving a crew at the old service park to 
complete the work there. The maintenance platoon 
furnishes close support to the combat troops, moving 
to the succeeding service parks at the earliest possible 


A. — Higher echelon repair jobs recovered to 

ordnance recovery collecting point. 

B. — 2d echelon repairs recovered to service park, 

C. — Time prohibits recovery, of higher echelon re- 

pair jobs to VCP. Recovered to axis of evacua- 

D. — 2d echelon repair jobs recovered to new park 

just prior to moving. 

Figure 34. Repair and recovery of disabled vehicles in combat. 


Figure 35. The maintenance platoon moves forward as soon as 
the situation permits. Interested parties are kept informed of 
the location of the operating establishment at all times. 

615398° — 14 10 


moment. Plans for the battlefield maintenance in- 
clude — 

( 1 ) Location of the initial service park and the 
number and location of succeeding parks. The serv- 
ice parks are located in covered areas near the axis of 
evacuation and are spaced from 1 to 3 miles apart. 

(2) When each service park closes, the battalion 
maintenance platoon moves to a new park. 

(3) Method for notifying interested parties within 
the battalion and higher-echelon evacuating units of 
the displacement of the service park. 

(4) Whether or not disabled vehicles not repair- 
able on the spot will be moved to the service park or 
left for repair in the field. The situation governs this 
decision, which often is altered during combat. Dur- 
ing static situations the vehicles usually are brought 
to the service park or to concealed areas along the 
axis of evacuation. During a fast-moving situation, 
it may be necessary to leave many of the vehicles in 
the field. When this occurs, it is necessary that bat- 
talion maintenance and ordnance supporting units be 
notified of locations of disabled vehicles (vehicle col- 
lecting points ) . 

(5) Coordination with the plan of recovery and 
evacuation of higher-echelon maintenance units. It 
is the responsibility of the battalion motor officer that 
all vehicles not repairable within the battalion are 
reported to higher echelon for repair or evacuation 
without delay. 

c. Company maintenance. In combat, company 
maintenance crew members follow immediately be- 
hind combat troops. They attempt to repair all dis- 
abled vehicles on the spot. Those not repairable are 
turned over to battalion maintenance for repair or 



127. GENERAL. 

a. Scope. The medical detachment is an integral 
part of the armored infantry battalion. The detach- 
ment has the function of supervising and advising on 
health and sanitation measures within the battalion, 
giving immediate care to personnel of the battalion 
who become sick, injured, or battle casualties, and 
evacuating, the more serious cases to a higher echelon. 
(For details see FM 17-80.) 

b. Organization. The detachment is organized 
to function in garrison and in combat. The battalion 
surgeon, who also is a staff officer, is commander of 
the detachment. He has a medical administrative 
officer and a dental officer to assist him. Specially 
trained surgical, medical, and dental technicians aid 
the medical and dental officers in medical, health, and 
sanitation tasks within the battalion. 

c. Training. Training for the enlisted men is 
technical for the individual and tactical for the de- 
tachment as a whole. The surgeon is responsible to 
the battalion commander for training the medical 
detachment. The detachment is trained with the 
rest of the battalion in all tactical exercises, in order 
to familiarize the men with the tactical employment 
of the battalion. The technically trained enlisted 
men of the detachment, in turn, assist in teaching 
battalion classes in personal hygiene, first aid, and 



a. In combat the detachment attaches a %-ton 
truck, with trained first-aid men to each combat 
company. The combat troops are supported closely 
by these ambulances and men. Battlefield casualties 
are given first aid in the field and evacuated prompdy 
to the battalion aid station. 

b. The ambulance is moved forward with the com- 
bat troops. Each ambulance is equipped with neces- 
sary medical supplies prior to joining the company. 
As supplies are used, they are replenished at the bat- 
talion aid station. When not in use it remains near 
the company command post or in a covered' position 
along the line of drift in rear of or near the company, 
where it is contacted by platoons on call. 

c. A battalion aid station is set up along the axis 
of evacuation, where the battalion surgeon controls 
medical treatment of casualties and the prompt 
evacuation of wounded and sick troops to the next 
higher medical unit. Casualties are brought to the 
aid station by ambulances or litter bearers. Walking 
wounded are directed to the aid station by medical 
detachment personnel in the combat area. 

d. On road marches the battalion surgeon rides in 
the -ton truck near the battalion commander's 
half-track, in order to keep abreast of the tactical 
situation. Two of the ambulances with first-aid men 
are distributed through the marching column. The 
remainder of the medical detachment ride at the rear 
of the column. (See fig. 9.) Upon arrival at the 
bivouac or assembly area the dispersed vehicles of the 
detachment are guided to their sector by the detach- 
ment guide. The detachment usually is located in 
the battalion headquarters and headquarters com- 
pany area. 



The duties of the battalion surgeon are prescribed 
in AR 40-10 and FM 17-80. He is responsible for 
the technical service of the detachment, keeping of 
medical records and statistics, and the carrying out 
of all health and sanitation measures within the bat- 
talion. As a staff officer, it is necessary that he is 
familiar with the tactical situation in combat, in 
order to make quick, accurate, and logical recom- 
mendations and decisions in regard to employment of 
the medical detachment. Specific duties include — 

a. Preventive health measures. The battalion 
surgeon makes recommendations on sanitation and 
health measures for the control of communicable dis- 
eases. He is alert at all times, anticipating the possible 
appearance of diseases within the command and in- 
stigating preventive measures to forestall their appear- 
ance. He recommends that communities where com- 
municable diseases have made their appearance be 
placed off limits. 

b. Care and treatment of sick and wounded. 
The battalion surgeon initiates and supervises meas- 
ures for the care and treatment of the sick and 
wounded of the command. This includes the holding 
of regular sick call in garrison and the treating of 
sick and wounded in combat. Only minor cases are 
treated wholly within the battalion, due to lack of 
equipment and facilities. It is the duty of the bat- 
talion surgeon to sort the cases, either he or one of the 
assistant surgeons deciding whether or not the patient 
is to be evacuated to a higher medical echelon. The 
more serious cases are given emergency treatment and 
prepared for evacuation to a higher echelon, where 
more specialized treatment is given. 

c. Dental service. The surgeon supervises the 
dental service of the battalion. The dental officer is 
responsible for the dental work, including the keeping 


of records and preparation of reports, but the bat- 
talion surgeon is responsible for the adequate and 
proper execution and supervision of this specialized 
part of medical care. In combat the dental officer 
remains at the battalion aid station, performing emer- 
gency dental work and assisting the battalion surgeon 
in general duties when necessary. During rest periods 
between combat phases he makes dental surveys and 
performs necessary dental treatment. 

d. Instruction. The battalion surgeon is respon- 
sible for the instruction of all battalion personnel in 
basic military medical subjects, which includes first 
aid, sanitation, personal hygiene, malaria control, and 
venereal diseases. 

e. Disease prevention. Vaccination and inocu- 
lation of personnel of the battalion are responsibilities 
of the surgeon. An accurate record of these preven- 
tive measures is kept and entered in the medical history 
of each individual. The surgeon coordinates with 
higher headquarters on quarantines, malaria control, 
and other necessary preventive measures. 

/. Administrative. A complete medical history 
is kept on each officer and enlisted man by the bat- 
talion surgeon. In addition, periodic medical reports 
are required by higher headquarters. In addition to 
the periodic reports, informal ones are given to the 
battalion commander and division surgeon on un- 
usual events. During combat, these special reports 
are in- writing; in garrison, they may be oral. 

g. Inspections. The surgeon is responsible for 
daily inspections of the battalion area, in combat and 
in garrison. Company messes, latrines, quarters, and 
recreational facilities are inspected as often as neces- 
sary to insure a high standard of cleanliness and sani- 
tation. He assists in the selection of the bivouac area, 
coordinating environmental conditions with the tac- 
tical situation. 



a. The health and physical well-being of personnel 
of the battalion are responsibilities of the battalion 
commander. He will take an active part in the health 
and physical program and by frequent inspections in- 
sure their successful execution. The battalion surgeon 
and the medical detachment are responsible to the 
battalion commander for carrying out all medical 
policies. Unit commanding officers, in turn, are 
responsible that matters pertaining to the health of the 
command are brought to the attention of the battalion 
commander or surgeon. 

b. Daily checks are made by company command- 
ers, platoon leaders, and squad leaders on the condi- 
tion of the men and their environment. Commanders 
and leaders are on the alert at all times for breaches 
in health and sanitation discipline. Daily reports, 
either oral or written, showing the status of the health 
of the command, are given to the battalion com- 
mander by the surgeon and company commanders. 

c. Company commanders and the battalion surgeon 
coordinate efforts for reconditioning and rehabilitating 
individuals who are temporarily maladjusted. The 
company commanders keep in close touch with their 
men, reporting any signs of maladjustment to the bat- 
talion commander and the surgeon. The surgeon, 
after investigation, makes recommendations for action 
to be taken. Before combat the surgeon prepares the 
command mentally for the normal reactions of the 
individual under fire. After combat he makes a sur- 
vey of the battalion for men needing mental recon- 
ditioning and rehabilitation, transferring such cases to 
higher medical echelons. 




1. The armored infantry battalion in the attack 
makes full use of its mobility, firepower, and light 
armor protection. (See par. 30.) Tanks assist in- 
fantry by supporting the infantry attack by fire. (See 
par. 29.) 

2. SITUATION (fig. 36). 

The leading elements of a reinforced armored infan- 
try battalion advancing to the north have been stopped 
along ridge A by heavy antitank-gun and small-arms 
fire. The enemy occupies a strong defensive position 
on ridge B. Company C, minus one rifle platoon, is 
deployed along ridge A. The remainder of the bat- 
talion, with an attached medium tank company, is in 
an assembly area at position X. The infantry bat- 
talion has one battalion of armored field artillery in 
direct support. 

3. ACTION (fig. 37). 

In conformity with the battalion commander's attack 
plan — 

a. Companies A and B move to defilade position in 
rear of LD on ridge A, personnel dismount, and ve- 
hicles are moved to gun defilade positions prepared 
to support the dismounted attack. 

b. The machine gun platoon moves to edge of 
woods at H. 

c. The assault gun and 81 -mm mortar platoons 
move to reverse slope of hill Z. 


d. Two platoons of the medium tank company 
move to a turret defilade position in rear of the line 
of departure, one platoon supporting company A and 
the other company B in the advance. 

e. The supporting field artillery fires prearranged 
concentrations on enemy locations, beginning at H-5. 
The artillery fire lifts on orders as the attacking troops 
arrive within 100 yards of ridge B. Other artillery 
fire is called for as needed by the forward observer of 
infantry commanders. 

/. The dismounted infantry attacks, supported by 
the vehicular weapons, mortars, assault guns, and 
tanks, with the antitank guns protecting against a 
hostile mechanized attack. 

4. CONSOLIDATION (fig. 38). 

When the dismounted attack reaches the intermediate 
objective, the supporting vehicles are moved forward 
to defilade positions on ridge B. The attack is con- 
tinued in a similar manner to ridge C, the battalion 
objective, and the new position is organized. 


Figure 36. Vehicular and supporting weapons of the leading 
element of the battalion are employed when resistance is met. 


Figure 37. Vehicular guns and other supporting weapons sup- 
port the attack from defilade positions. 


Figure 38. Vehicles move to the intermediate objective upon its 
capture to support the attack on the final objective. 




Section I. GENERAL 


a. Definition. A field inspection is a detailed in- 
spection to ascertain the adequacy and condition of 
individual and organizational equipment including 
weapons, communication equipment, vehicles, and 

b. Purpose of field inspection. The field in- 
spection is the means whereby a commander deter- 
mines the physical readiness of an organization for 
combat. It is held frequently during training to 
familiarize all personnel with the procedure and stand- 
ards required, and to assess the current condition of 
the organization. It is held also in the theater of op- 
erations, both before and after combat. 

c. Corrective action. A field inspection is of 
little value unless prompt action is taken to correct 
deficiencies found during preparation for and conduct 
of the inspection. 


This appendix has been prepared as a guide for or- 
ganization commanders and inspecting parties in pre- 
paring and conducting field inspections. It is written 
to apply to all conditions under which inspections are 
held, from formal ceremonies to tactical situations 
where expediency is paramount. 



A field inspection is conducted most efficiently when 
equipment is divided for this purpose into three cate- 
gories : 

a. Individual equipment. This category may be 
inspected before or after the vehicular inspection. 
Shelter tents are pitched, and equipment, including 
the contents of canvas field bags, laid out as prescribed 
in FM 21-15. 

b. Vehicles and vehicular equipment. This 
phase of the inspection may be a command inspection 
by the organization commander and staff or by a 
higher headquarters inspecting party; or it may be a 
technical inspection made by personnel from within 
the organization to be inspected or by an inspection 
team from higher echelons of maintenance. In any 
case, a technical inspection must be made in the prep- 
aration for or during the field inspection. (See TM 
9-2810 and AR 850-15.) 

c. Organizational equipment. In the theater 
of operations the inspection of organizational equip- 
ment may be held in one or more places, depending 
on the tactical situation. Thus, maintenance, med- 
ical, mess, and some administrative equipment may 
be inspected at the battalion bivouac. Some equip- 
ment may be at the trains bivouac and the inspection 
is then conducted at its location. In any case, the in- 
spection must reflect the exact physical condition of 
the organization. 


The order for the field inspection usually is issued by 
the organization commander. However, it may be 
issued by higher authority. In the early stages of 
training it may be preceded by a warning order 2 or 
3 days in advance. In combat, or after a high state 
of training has been reached, the inspection may be 


ordered on a few hours' notice. In order that the 
inspection may reflect accurately the physical status 
of the organization, sufficient time must be allowed 
for the preparation of shortage lists. The order for 
the field inspection of a company usually is oral. For 
a battalion it may be oral or written. It includes as 
much of the following as may be necessary : • 

a. Time of inspection. 

b. Special preparations. 

c. March order for movement to the inspection area. 

d. Formation of vehicles and personnel. 

e. Methods and phases of inspection. 

/. Reports to be submitted by unit commanders. 
g. Special instructions to the inspecting party. 



a. Prior to the field inspection, all equipment — 
organizational, individual, vehicles, and vehicular 
equipment — should be carefully inspected for cleanli- 
ness, serviceability, and shortages. This inspection is 
performed by the using personnel, supervised by the 
appropriate officer. Lists of shortages including un- 
serviceable items are prepared. These lists are con- 
solidated by the company property officer who takes 
immediate action to obtain replacements. In the 
theater of operations the replacement of items is de- 
pendent upon the supply- procedure in the theater. 
The objective sought is the speedy replacement of 

b. Stowing of vehicles. Stowage of vehicles is 
as prescribed in Technical Manuals (listed in FM 
21-6) for the vehicles and by the organization com- 

c. Place of inspection. In the theater of opera- 
tions a field inspection usually is held in the bivouac 


of the battalion or smaller unit. Battalion and higher 
unit commanders inspect each company in its own 
area or have each company march to a designated 
place at a specified time for the inspection. When 
desired, the battalion may be formed and inspected 
in one place. 

d. Formations of vehicles. FM 17-5 gives for- 
mations of vehicles for inspection. Under tactical 
conditions vehicles are located as required for security. 

e. Formation of personnel. Personnel is formed 
for inspection as prescribed in appropriate Field 
.Manuals covering crew drill of the vehicle or as pre- 
scribed in FM 21-15. Under tactical conditions they 
form as the situation requires. 


a. Purpose. The primary purpose of the display 
of vehicles and vehicular equipment is to facilitate 
a check of the presence and serviceability of vehicles 
and accessories by the vehicle crews and the inspect- 
ing parties. In training, it teaches an orderly, uni- 
form system of checking these items and has high 
disciplinary value. Figures 39, 40, and 41 are in- 
tended to suggest uniform displays. Frequent inspec- 
tions during training, using uniform arrangements of 
tools and accessories, will familiarize all personnel 
with the equipment. As a general rule, armament, 
radio sets, decontaminating equipment, pioneer tools, 
and fire extinguishers, are left in place in the vehicle. 
Ammunition is inspected in its stowage position. 

b. Signal communication equipment. ( 1 ) Gen- 
eral. All miscellaneous signal communication equip- 
ment is displayed along with vehicle accessories. 
Vehicular batteries are exposed and FM sets are 
aligned on the correct preset channels as prescribed 
in the Unit Radio Telephone Directory. AM sets 
are pretuned to frequencies prescribed in Signal 
Operation Instructions. 


(2) Types of display. The details of each display 
of signal communication equipment depend on the 
type of radio installation. Signal communication ac- 
cessories are always displayed on the same side of the 
portion of the display panel allocated to them and 
in the same relative location. (See figs. 39, 40, 
and 41.) 

c. Armament and accessories. (1) Vehicular 
armament. All vehicular armament is mounted with 
sights in place. Ammunition boxes are installed or 
placed in their proper locations. Ammunition is 
carefully cleaned and stowed. Spare parts for arms 
and accessories, cleaning equipment, spare telescopes, 
gun covers, tools, rammers, -and brushes are displayed 
with vehicular equipment. (See figs. 39, 40, and 

( 2 ) Individual arms. Individual arms may be in- 
spected at the time of the vehicular equipment in- 
spection as prescribed in crew drill or they may be 
inspected with individual equipment. (See par. 7 
below. ) 

d. Vehicles and vehicular equipment. In 
figures 39, 40, and 41 are shown suggested displays 
of vehicular tools, equipment, and spare parts. In 
arranging tools and spare parts the primary object of 
the display is to facilitate the determination of the 
presence and serviceability of the item. Avoid fancy 
displays which will confuse the inspecting party. 

e. Chemical warfare equipment. Decontami- 
nating apparatus is inspected in place in the vehicle. 
Gas masks of individuals are inspected with individual 
equipment. (See par. 7 below.) 

/. Medical equipment. The 1 2- and 24-unit first- 
aid kits are opened and displayed as prescribed in 
the outline on the bottom of the lid. All dressings 
which have been opened are unserviceable and are 
not presented. Individual first-aid kits are displayed 
with individual equipment. (See par. 7 below.) 

615398°-— 44 11 


g. Camouflage equipment. Camouflage nets, if 
not in use, are left on the vehicles. They are un- 
rolled as the inspecting officer prescribes. 


Shelter tents are pitched and each man displays his 
equipment directly in front of his half of the tent. 
(See FM 21-15.) 


a. Headquarters. Headquarters equipment is 
displayed by setting up the command post of the 
organization (battalion or company) and displaying 
the contents of all chests and desks. When the per- 
sonnel section is in the rear echelon of the higher 
headquarters, it may be necessary to conduct the 
inspection of this personnel and equipment at a 
separate time and place. 

b. Mess. The kitchen is set up complete on the 
ground as prescribed in TM 10-405, FM 17-5, 
and special instructions issued by the organization 

c. Medical. The aid station is set up for opera- 
tion and all equipment displayed. In the tent are 
displayed all medical chests with component parts 
laid out on shelves, drawers, and the operating table. 
Litters, blanket sets, and dressing sets are displayed 
in front of the tent. ( See fig. 42. ) 

d. Maintenance. The tools, equipment, and 
spare parts of the company and battalion maintenance 
sections are displayed as directed. This display may 
include only a small portion of this material laid out 
on canvas or on the ground with remainder neatly 
arranged in the appropriate chests. The complete 
display of company and battalion maintenance equip- 
ment requires an area and time of preparation which 
must be justified by the necessity for such an inspec- 


quires careful judgment by the inspecting party. The 
work of the inspecting officers is facilitated by the 
presentation of reports of shortages and deficiencies 
prepared beforehand by designated individuals in the 
unit. (See par. 5.) 

(3) Coordination. The movements of the various 
inspecting teams are coordinated to avoid interference 
with each other and to keep the senior inspecting 
officer aware of the progress of the inspection. 

b. Signal communication equipment. ( 1 ) Suf- 
ficient personnel is available in the battalion to 
organize three teams each consisting of three men, 
technically qualified and experienced, and one 
nontechnical recorder. The following personnel is 
usually sufficient : 

1 battalion communication officer. 

1 battalion communication chief. 

5 company communication sergeants. 

2 radio repair men. 

(2) Conduct of inspection, (a) Time available 
during the field inspection does not permit a complete 
check of such items as spare vacuum tubes and dry 
batteries. Therefore, provision should be made for 
qualified personnel to conduct a detailed check of such 
items as a normal procedure prior to the time of the 
check. Unbroken seals are accepted by inspectors as 
proof of serviceability. Actual serviceability of each 
radio is established by entry into an appropriate net 
before departure from the service park or during the 

( b ) The physical check of equipment may be con- 
ducted by two or more teams. A plan for check by 
two teams follows: 


tion. It is more practicable to inspect this equipment 
by chest or set, using the contents list pasted on the 
lid or by the SNL. 


a. General. ( 1 ) The inspecting party for a com- 
pany field inspection may consist of the officers of the 
company supplemented by skilled enlisted personnel. 
For a battalion, the battalion commander and his 
staff are supplemented by company officers and en- 
listed technicians. If the inspection be directed by 
higher authority, the scope may approach a technical 
inspection with the higher headquarters furnishing 
the specialist personnel necessary. In any case, the 
inspecting party is divided into teams for each cate- 
gory of equipment. The several teams may be desig- 
nated to inspect each of the following : 

Signal communications. 
Arms and armament. 
Track vehicles. 
Wheeled vehicles. 

Organizational equipment (less vehicle and 

vehicular equipment ) . 
Individual clothing and equipment. 

(2) Each inspecting team consists of one or more 
officers and enlisted technicians with a recorder to 
note the results of the inspection. Inspectors use 
check sheets where necessary, but immediately fur- 
nish the recorder data on discrepancies found. Check 
sheets are not used as reports but may be used as in- 
closures to the report. The standards are as pre- 
scribed in the directive and may vary according to 
the situation. Thus, equipment may be "training 
serviceable" but not "combat serviceable." (See 
POM.) "Combat serviceability" is directed for sig- 
nal equipment. The decision as to further use re- 


1st team 

Com O 

Co Com Sgt 

2d team 

Bn Com Chief 

Co Com Sgt 

Co Com Sgt 
or Radio 


Co Com Sgt 
or Radio Re- 



General check of articles laid out 
for display (see par. 6a), to in- 
clude — Completeness, service- 
ability (as indicated by general 
appearance), and conformity to 
established standards. 

1 . Enters each vehicle and checks 
all installed signal communica- 
tion equipment, such as: re- 
ceivers, transmitters, antenna, 
and interphone. This is a com- 
plete first-echelon check, less the 
operational check. 

2. The inspection will include a 
physical check of all authorized 
crystals and spare fuses. 

Checks each cell of the vehicular 
battery, using a high discharge 
rate voltmeter and hydrometer. 
General condition, cleanliness, 

. indication of leakage and height, 
and specific gravity of electro- 
lyte are noted. 

Records data. 

(3) Standards. The standard for all signal com- 
munication equipment is "combat serviceability." 

c. Arms and armament. ( 1 ) Each inspecting 
team should include an officer, an armorer, and a 
recorder. Inspection of armored infantry battalion 
requires five teams, one for each company. 

(2) Conduct of inspection. Each team conducts 
a' systematic inspection of vehicular armament, ac- 
cessories, spare parts, and ammunition. 

(3) Standards. The serviceability of armament 
is classified as follows: 

(a) Serviceable for immediate use. 

(b) Serviceable with immediate minor repair or 

(c) Unserviceable or requiring major repair. 


d. Full-track vehicles. (1) The inspecting 
teams for full-track vehicles are responsible for all 
full-track motor carriages and tank recovery vehicles, 
less signal communication equipment and vehicular 
armament. They are composed of qualified officers 
with technicians from the battalion maintenance 
platoon. Four teams are desirable. 

(2) Conduct of inspection. Team No. 1 inspects 
tank chassis. Team No. 2 inspects tank engines. 
Team No. 3 tests engine and electrical circuits. 
Team No. 4 inspects general maintenance of the 
vehicle including tools and spare parts. 

(3) Standards. The standards must be governed 
by the serviceability required. The results of the 
inspection are based on — 

(a) Vehicle appearance and mechanical condition. 

(b) Completeness of tool and accessory sets and 

(c) Adequate maintenance and lubrication. 

(d) All parts and units secure. 

(e) Parts not excessively worn. 
(/) No leaks. 

e. Wheeled vehicles. Wheeled vehicle inspect- 
ing teams are responsible for the inspection of all 
wheeled and half-track vehicles, less signal communi- 
cation equipment and armament. Four inspectors 
per team are desirable, with duties of inspectors al- 
located as follows: Inspector No. 1 inspects chassis. 
Inspector No. 2 inspects engines. Inspector No. 3 
tests engines and electrical circuits. Inspector No. 4 
inspects general maintenance, tools, and spare parts. 
The standards for wheeled vehicles are the same as 
for full-track vehicles. Have as many teams as neces- 
sary to inspect the unit in the time allowed. An 
experienced team with a recorder can inspect about 
six vehicles in an hour. 


/. Organizational equipment (less vehicles 
and vehicular equipment) . (1) Inspection teams 
for this equipment are designated as follows : 

(a) Headquarters equipment. 
S-l and S-4. 
Personnel adjutant. 
Sergeant major. 

(b) Mess equipment. 
One officer. 

One medical officer. 

(c) Medical equipment. 
Battalion surgeon. 
Sergeant surgical technician. 

(d) Battalion maintenance equipment. 
Battalion motor officer. 
Battalion motor sergeant. 
Battalion motor supply sergeant. 

(e) The battalion commander, executive officer, 
and battalion motor officer supervises the entire in- 
spection. The S— 2 inspects all maps. The S-3 super- 
vises the inspection of the operations equipment. In 
addition to the specific duties listed in this paragraph, 
all members of the battalion commander's staff assist 
in the inspection as the battalion commander desires. 

(2) Conduct of inspection. All of the inspections 
prescribed in ( 1 ) above are made simultaneously. 
After inspecting the medical equipment, the battalion 
surgeon and assistants go to each company to deter- 
mine the general physical condition of the men. 
(3) Standards. See h below. 

g. Individual clothing and equipment. ( 1 ) 
Organization of teams. Teams are organized of the 
following personnel: 

Company commander. 
Platoon leaders. 
Company supply officers. 


Company supply sergeants. 
Platoon sergeants. 

( 2 ) Conduct of inspection. This inspection is held 
before or after the vehicular inspection. The com- 
pany commander, supply officer, and supply sergeant, 
assisted by each platoon leader, inspect the individual 
equipment laid out as prescribed in paragraph 7 

(3) Standards. See h below. 

h. Standards. ( 1 ) Preparation. When the 
equipment inspection of a platoon is completed, the 
platoon leader reports this fact to the company com- 
mander who directs that vehicles be stowed. When 
stowage is complete, the platoon leader reports that 
fact to the company commander. 

(2) Allocation of teams. As soon as each inspect- 
ing team finishes its part of the equipment inspection, 
it starts the stowage phase of the inspection on any 
units which may be ready. Teams are allocated to 
platoons or companies by the senior inspector. 

(3) Conduct of inspection. The stowage of each 
vehicle is inspected to see that it is correct and secure. 
Special care is taken to see that there is no interfer- 
ence with the access to weapons and use of controls. 
Straps and lashings are checked for arrangement and 
tightness. Towed loads must be securely stowed with 
lunettes secure in pintles. Deficiencies in stowage are 
noted as for the equipment inspection. 



a. Each squad or section leader should have in his 
possession an individual list pertaining to his vehicle 
or activity. Units being inspected furnish reports to 
inspecting teams showing all shortages of equipment 


and deficiencies which affect combat efficiency. In 
the zone of interior these reports are consolidated by 
companies according to class, such as ORD, QM. 
They show such shortages as are covered by validated 
requisitions and that corrective action has been taken 
for all other deficiencies. In the theater of opera- 
tions they may be pencil memoranda. 

b. Inspecting teams note all deficiencies and also 
conditions indicating commendable efficiency in the 

c. A written report is made by the senior inspecting 
officer to the appointing authority, stating the con- 
dition of the organization, and noting general defi- 
ciencies and commendations, if any. It may be 
amplified by inclosures. 




* y * 















Figure 39. Suggested layouts for display of vehicular equipment. 


T| ■ 


P" 5.5' ^ 



2'A-TON TRUCK, 6x6 











Figure 40. Suggested layouts for display of vehicular equipment. 


TANK 105 MM 

6' H 

4 H 











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I 1 





re 4/. Suggested layouts for display of vehicular equipment. 





[j - * R ECORD S 






















.Figure 42. Suggested layout of equipment for the medical 



Paragraph Page 

Amphibious operations 71 97 

Approach march: 

Assembly areas 40 69 

Communication 36 68 

Conduct of approach march 39 69 

Control of vehicles 37 68 

Formations 32 67 

General 31 66 

Reconnaissance 34 68 

Security 35 68 

Supporting elements 38 68 

Zone and direction . 33 67 

Assault gun platoon: 

Control and communication 87 113 

Employment 88 114 

General 86 113 


Advance through a hostile position 53 78 

Assault ' 52 78 

Characteristics 42 71 

Conduct of the attack 51 77 

Control 47 76 

Final objective 54 79 

Flexibility 49 76 

Formation of plan 45 74 

General 41 71 

Location of commander 50 76 

Method 43 72 

Orders 48 76 

Plan of maneuver 46 74 

Reconnaissance 44 73 

Attack of river line 72 100 

Attack in woods 75 103 

Battalion headquarters 79 105 

Bivouacs 23 37 

Characteristics, general 3 1 

Characteristics of the attack 30 63 

Coordination with other troops 58 82 

Combat in towns 76 104 

Company headquarters 80 105 

Conduct of the march 20 35 


Control: Paragraph Page 

Communication 13 19 

Communication security 14 26 

Fire control and coordination 11 16 

Liaison 15 26 

Supporting tanks and artillery 12 18 

Defensive action: 

Conduct of the defense 65 90 

Coordination with other troops 58 82 

Delaying action 68 94 

Fire plan 62 87 

Front line position 59 83 

General 57 82 

Occupying position 60 84 

Organization of the ground 61 87 

Orders 63 88 

Relief 69 96 

Reserve battalion 66 91 

Security 64 89 

Withdrawals 67,70 93,96 

Defense of a river line 73 101 

Defense of a town or village 77 104 

Defense in woods 75 103 

Delaying action 68 94 

Dismounted marches 22 37 

Final objective 54 79 

Formations, approach march 32 67 

Front line position 59 83 

Headquarters and headquarters company: 

Battalion headquarters 79 105 

Company headquarters 80 105 

General 78 105 

Liaison 15 26 

Machine gun platoon: 

Armament 94 115 

Assault 101 121 

Bivouacs 113 124 

Control and communication 93 115 

Displacement 100 121 

Disposition at night 109 123 

Employment in the attack 99 120 

Employment in the defense .. -. 104 122 

Fields of fire .. 97 116 

Fire control 98 120 

Fire plans 106 122 


Machine gun platoon — Continued. Paragraph Page 

Fire order 105 122 

Fires during defense 108 123 

Firing positions 96 116 

General 92 115 

Local security 107 122 

Marches '. 112 123 

Missions 95 116 

Pursuit 103 122 

Reorganization 102 121 

Reserve battalion 110 123 

Retrograde movements Ill 123 

Medical detachment: 

General 127 139 

Tactical employment 128 140 

Battalion surgeon 129 141 

Command responsibilities 130 143 


Combat maintenance 126 135 

General 122 131 

Inspections and service 124 133 

Parks 125 134 

Preventive maintenance 123 132 

Marches and bivouacs: 

Bivouacs 23 37 

Conduct of the march 20 35 

Dismounted marches 22 37 

General 16 28 

Maintenance on the march 19 34 

March plans and orders 17 29 

Scheduled halts 21 37 

Trains 18 32 

Mortar platoon (81 -mm): 

Control and communication 90 114 

General 89 114 

Employment 91 114 

Occupying position 60 84 

Offensive action: 

Characteristics of the attack 30 63 

General 29 62 

Personnel, general 121 130 

Reconnaissance platoon: . 

Battle missions 85 113 

Defensive 84 112 

Marches, bivouac 82 108 

Missions 81 106 

Offensive 83 110 

Relief 69 96 


Reserve: Paragraph Page 

Reserve battalion, defensive action 66 91 

Reserve battalion; offensive action 55 79 

Role, general 4 2 

Scope 1 1 


Communication 14 26 

Camouflage 27 60 

Against chemical attack 28 61 

General 24 47 

Outpost 26 56 

On the march 25 47 

Service company: 

Bivouacs 117 127 

Composition 115 1 25 

General 114 125 

Marches 116 126 

Movements 118 127 

Supply ; 119 128 

Supply, maintenance, and evacuation 9 13 

Supplies 120 128 

Supporting tanks and artillery 12 18 

Terrain, general 6 3 


General 7 12 

Supply, maintenance, and evacuation 9 13 

Tactical training 8 12 

Training in combat zones 10 14 

Trains 18 32 

Withdrawals 67 93